Potapova stages comeback win vs Gauff at Miami Open

Miami Gardens (Florida), March 26: Coco Gauff let a big lead slip away and wound up dropping the last five games of a mistake-filled 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-2 loss to Anastasia Potapova in the third round of the Miami Open.
The No. 6-seeded Gauff, a 19-year-old from nearby in Florida, was critical of herself afterward, saying that her footwork wasn’t great, that her mindset was off and that she played too defensively after serving for the victory at 5-3 in the second set on Saturday.
The 2022 French Open runner-up then seemed to be pulling away, going up a break in the second set at 5-3. But Gauff eased up and Potapova became more aggressive in their lengthy baseline back-and-forths, taking four games in a row on a sunny afternoon with the temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (nearing 30 degrees Celsius).
When the 27th-seeded Potapova forced a third set with a backhand winner, she dropped her racket, clenched both fists, leaned forward and yelled.
Gauff briefly went up 2-1 in the deciding set, but would not collect another game. She wound up with 34 unforced errors – compared to 20 winners – and was broken six times in a match that lasted more than 2 1/2 hours.
When Gauff dumped a backhand return into the net to fall to 1-5 against seeded opponents this season, Potapova covered her mouth with a hand and shook her head. She had been 0-2 against Gauff previously, but now will move on to face No. 23 Zheng Qinwen in the fourth round.
Zheng beat No. 12 Liudmila Samsonova 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Other results included No. 3 Jessica Pegula’s 6-1, 7-6 (0) win over No. 30 Danielle Collins; No. 20 Magda Linette’s 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4 victory over three-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka; and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko’s 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory against No. 13 Beatriz Haddad Maia.
In men’s action, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Australian Open runner-up who is coming off a loss in his opening match at Indian Wells, California, this month, moved on when Richard Gasquet withdrew before they were scheduled to play because of an injured ankle. That means Tsitsipas, who was given a bye like all seeded players, reached a third-round matchup with qualifier Cristian Garin without having played a point yet at the Miami Open.
Garin defeated No. 27 Sebastian Baez 7-6 (2), 6-3, one of several men’s second-round contests in which a seeded player lost. (AP)

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