Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff began 2020 with a 6-3, 6-1 first-round win over Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova in 62 minutes Monday at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
The youngest member of the WTA’s Top 100 at No. 67, Gauff fired 15 winners and four aces and saved all three break points she faced while battling blustery conditions. She will face the winner between Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium and Germany’s Laura Siegemund in the second round.
Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek edged No. 6 seed Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5), while No. 8 Caroline Garcia of France held off Taylor Townsend 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Zidansek next faces Jessica Pegula and Garcia will meet Canadian wildcard Eugenie Bouchard.
Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko (personal reasons) and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova (illness) both withdrew ahead of their opening-round matches.
Danielle Collins crushed No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina of Russia 6-1, 6-1 in just 56 minutes during an opening day of upsets in Brisbane, Australia.
After a 1-1 start in the opening set, Collins conceded only six more points. Down 0-1 in the second, she dropped only eight additional points. She had five aces and saved all four break points.
Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic knocked out No. 7 seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, and wildcard entry Samantha Stosur of Australia delighted her home fans with a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) win against 18th-ranked German Angelique Kerber.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza of Spain, the No. 6 seed, survived a three-set challenge from Chinese wildcard Wang Xinyu in the first round in Shenzhen, China.
Muguruza won the final nine games to put away her 153rd-ranked opponent, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. She struck eight aces and fought off 6 of 7 break points. Muguruza next faces Shelby Rogers, a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 winner against fellow American Nicole Gibbs.
Others advancing included No. 2 seed and defending champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and No. 7 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.
–Field Level Media