DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Coco Gauff had hassle closing out and wanted to save lots of two match factors earlier than lastly heading off Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-6 (3), 2-6, 7-6 (8) on Sunday to advance to the second spherical of the Dubai Responsibility Free Tennis Championship.
The 16-year-old American led 5-1 within the third set and twice had probabilities to serve out the match, holding 4 match factors within the tenth recreation, however Alexandrova rallied to pressure a tiebreaker.
Gauff then needed to save match factors within the tiebreaker earlier than successful the final three factors to complete off the match in 2 hours, 40 minutes.
“There have been occasions after we each might have thrown within the towel and gave up, however we each had been mentally preventing,” Gauff mentioned. “I believe it is simply a type of that you just’re joyful that it is over, and joyful that you just fought by way of it.”
Gauff’s seventeenth birthday is subsequent Saturday, the identical day because the Dubai last. “That’d be a fairly good birthday present, to make it to the ultimate,” she mentioned.
The highest eight seeds had first-round byes.
In different matches Sunday, Ons Jabeur opened with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova upset Sixteenth-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-2, 7-6 (4).
Veteran Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova had a 6-4, 1-6, 6-5 win over Wang Qiang and superior to the second spherical together with Anastasija Sevastova and Alize Cornet.