Sixth-seeded Coco Gauff opened her 2023 Miami Open with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rebecca Marino on Thursday and advanced to the third round where she will face 27th-seeded Anastasia Potapova.
After her victory, Gauff, coming off a quarterfinals appearance at Indian Wells, said in a television interview that it wasn’t her best outing, despite converting five of her nine break points.
“It was a shaky performance honestly,” Gauff said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be a straightforward match, even if I was up a break sometimes.”
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Gauff came back from a breakdown twice in the second set to claim her second career win versus Marino. Gauff defeated Marino in the first round at Roland Garros in 2022.
Gauff said she was a bit nervous playing in her hometown — she’s a native of Delray Beach, Florida, a small city about 40 miles north of Hard Rock Stadium, where the tournament is played. Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat was among those in attendance Thursday.
“Jimmy Butler is here so I was a little bit nervous when I saw him,” Gauff said with a laugh in her post-match interview. “Playing home is something I look forward to, but it’s also a little bit of extra pressure because everyone wants you to do well here.”
Gauff’s doubles teammate, world No. 3 Jessica Pegula beat Katherine Sebov 6-3, 6-1 and advanced to the third round. She will face fellow American and No. 30 Danielle Collins next. Collins defeated Viktoriya Tomova on Thursday.
Pegula made the Miami Open semifinals in 2022 and is among the favourites to win the tournament this year after No. 1-ranked and defending champion Iga Swiatek pulled out of the tournament because of a rib injury.
No. 21 Paula Badosa won 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2 against Laura Siegemund in a match that lasted two hours and 51 minutes. Badosa will face either Elena Rybakina, who defeated Badosa en route to the Indian Wells title, or Anna Kalinskaya.
Badosa hit with a ball kid during the match to stay warm after Siegemund called for a medical timeout and left the court for treatment, which took nearly 15 minutes.
In other action, Elise Mertens eliminated No. 8 seed Daria Kasatkina 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to advance and face No. 29 Petra Martic next; No. 23 Qinwen Zheng picked up a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Irina-Camelia Begu; and No. 13 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Tereza Martincová 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-0.
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