Coco Gauff defended her Auckland title by beating Elina Svitolina 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 in the Auckland Classic final on Sunday January 7 to hold her title. She will now go to the Australian Open overflowing with confidence as she focuses on a second Grand Slam crown.
Gauff, who made her debut at Wimbledon five years ago, had a stellar 2023, when the 19-year-old American won her first major trophy at the US Open in September and reached a world ranking of No. 3, a record for her career.
The Auckland favorite kept on gathering speed in the new season by winning the check up for the January 14-28 Australian Open, losing just a single set after an exhaustive test in the final by two times Melbourne Park quarter-finalist Svitolina.
After both players dropped serve twice in the first set, Gauff’s level slightly dropped as she lost two set points at 5-3, allowing the big-hitting Svitolina to come back and win the tie-break to take the match lead.
But Gauff answered unequivocally to float through the next set and level the challenge at one set each, and held her nerve subsequent to snatching the critical break in the eighth round of the decider to finish off the victory.