PARIS (REUTERS) – Coco Gauff reached the third round of the French Open for the first time as the 17-year-old American battled past China’s Wang Qiang 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) on Thursday (June 3).
Gauff eased through the opening set after jumping out to a 3-0 lead, but did not have things her own way after that against the player she beat to win the Parma title last month.
Former world No. 12 Qiang served for the second set at 5-3, but was broken and then had a set point on the Gauff serve after the American double-faulted.
But 24th-seeded Gauff showed great resilience to take the set into a tiebreak that she never looked like losing.
After two straight-set wins she will now face either Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro or fellow American Jennifer Brady in the last 32.
In the men’s draw, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic put on a clinical display to stroll past Uruguyan Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the French Open.
Cuevas, ranked 92nd, showed flashes of resistance against the 34-year-old Serbian, but the top seed raised his game when he needed to and produced some sublime winners off his backhand to keep alive his chase for a 19th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic broke Cuevas’ serve a second time to go up 5-3 in the opening set, but found himself 0-40 down on his own serve. The Serbian, however, grabbed the next five points to seal the lead on a sunlit Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
The 35-year-old Cuevas’ challenge fell away as Djokovic broke his opponent’s serve three more times to complete the win and set up a clash against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, who beat Australian James Duckworth 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0.