OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - American teenager Coco Gauff booked her spot in the J&T Banka Ostrava Open main draw with a 6-4, 6-4 win over former World No.22 Irina-Camelia Begu.

Gauff dropped just one game in her first round clash against fellow wildcard Jana Cepelova on Saturday, and was similarly imperious against the Romanian Begu, seeded No.11 in the qualifying draw, to advance after 90 minutes on Court 2.

The talented teen initially enjoyed a bright start to the post-lockdown resumption, shocking No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in Lexington en route to the Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics semifinals, is coming off early defeats at the US Open and Roland Garros - the latter to eventual quarterfinalist Martina Trevisan - and will take on another Czech wildcard Katerina Siniakova in the main draw.

In the most dramatic match of the day, former World No.10 Daria Kasatkina overcame a 5-3 final set deficit against rising Czech star Marie Bouzkova to triumph, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

Kasatkina was a game from victory in the second set before Bouzkova, runner-up at the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey before the lockdown, reeled off five straight games and was twice two points from victory as she served for the match. 

The Russian pulled off a brave last stand, winning four straight games of her own to turn the tide and march into the main draw, where she will take on No.6 seed Elena Rybakina.

Czech star Barbora Krejcikova continued her fall upswing with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No.4 seed and Lexington runner-up Jil Teichmann. A former WTA Doubles World No.2, Krejcikova enjoyed a singles breakthrough in Roland Garros, reaching the second week of a major tournament for the first time with wins over Barbora Strycova and Tsvetana Pironkova.

After a decisive win over Kaja Juvan to kick off her Ostrava qualifying campaign, the No.12 seed lost just three points behind her fist serve against Teichmann to ease into the main draw, where fellow qualifier Tereza Martincova awaits.

Earlier in the day, Martincova surprised No.7 seed Paula Badosa, 6-3, 6-2. Badosa earned back-to-back wins over Sloane Stephens and 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko to reach the Round of 16 at the French Open, but struggled to find her range on serve as Martincova, who had No.8 seed Petra Martic on the ropes at the US Open, secured victory in under 80 minutes.

 

“Playing it safe wasn’t working“: Coco Gauff