Anastasia Potapova scored her second win in a row over Coco Gauff to upset the No.5 seed 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. She will face No.4 seed Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Potapova had defeated the American 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-2 in a 2-hour, 32-minute third-round tilt in Miami a month ago. The former junior No.1 needed only 1 hour and 17 minutes to reprise the victory on clay and move into her fourth Hologic WTA Tour quarterfinal of 2023.
This time last year, Potapova was ranked No.122. Exactly 12 months ago, she captured her maiden tour trophy in Istanbul -- the start of a rise that sees the 22-year-old at a career-high of No.24 this week. So far this season, she has also picked up a second title in Linz and reached her second WTA 1000 quarterfinal in Miami. Her pair of wins over Gauff have doubled her career total of Top 10 wins from two to four.
Key stats: Gauff seemed to have the early edge, bringing up five break points across Potapova's first two service games. But Potapova fended them all off in style with four service winners and a one-two punch, and ultimately saved all six break points she faced.
The American also fought hard under pressure, saving 10 of the 13 break points she faced. But Potapova kept creating repeated chances, and scored two breaks in the first set and one in the third.
Gauff's forehand was particularly vulnerable. The 19-year-old tallied 15 winners to Potapova's 13, but also committed 52 unforced errors to Potapova's 21. Of those 52, 38 came off the forehand wing.
Once Potapova has got out of her tightest service games at the start of each set, she cruised on serve, and won the last 10 points of the match behind her delivery.
Potapova on whether she feared the momentum would shift: "I never have a fear. That's something about me. I'm always going forwards until I get what I want."
Potapova on the match and her affinity for clay: "It was actually a tough match, mentally and physically as well, even if the score is not three sets like it was in Miami. Maybe I just really like the clay, especially indoors. It's my dream combo.
"To be honest, I don't know [why], because I'm quite an aggressive player and clay is more for someone who is running a lot, who is spinning the ball. But I think I'm moving well on clay and I can play offensive as well. I think this combo that I can do works great."