Coco Gauff beats Wang for 2nd career title and 1st on clay
PARMA, Italy (AP) — American teenager Coco Gauff stormed to her second career singles title as she comfortably dispatched Wang Qiang 6-1, 6-3 at the Emilia-Romagna Open in her first clay-court final on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Gauff also won the doubles title with Caty McNally later Saturday, becoming the youngest player to complete the singles/doubles sweep in nearly 17 years, since Maria Sharapova won both titles in Birmingham in 2004. That was just 92 days after Gauff was born.
“I feel like all week I was just thinking about it (winning both), especially when we got to the semifinals and you’re thinking about it, and you’re like it would be pretty cool to win both the singles and doubles titles. And I’m happy I was able to do that today,” Gauff said.
Gauff and McNally beat Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepac 6-3, 6-2.
In the singles final, Gauff needed just 74 minutes to beat her Chinese opponent in Parma.
She won more than three-quarters of her first-service points and fended off each of the four break points she faced against the 48th-ranked Wang.
Gauff, who reached her first semifinals on clay at the Italian Open last week, dropped just one set in Parma en route to victory. She is gearing up for the French Open, which starts May 30.
“It means a lot, especially on clay which is not really I feel like a surface that people associate me with,” Gauff said, before adding with a laugh: “It feels good, I like the dirt now. I always talk about it how I don’t like it but I like it now.”
Gauff has won 20 of her last 26 matches on tour. In contrast, she won 21 matches in the whole of 2019 and 2020 combined.
Gauff won her only previous final in Lienz, Austria, in 2019.
More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports