No.3 seed Coco Gauff of the United States booked a spot in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Round of 16 with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Italian lucky loser Elisabetta Cocciaretto on Tuesday.

Reigning US Open champion Gauff held off a furious second-set comeback by World No.58 Cocciaretto, eventually prevailing after 1 hour and 41 minutes of play and improving to 2-0 in their head-to-head (4-0 in sets).

Victorious again: Gauff avoided a three-match losing streak by taking down Cocciaretto. After losing to eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open semifinals, Gauff was upset by Katerina Siniakova last week in her Doha opener.

The 19-year-old American reclaimed her winning ways on Tuesday night, notching her 50th win in her last 51 matches against players ranked outside the Top 50. Gauff's only loss to a player ranked outside the Top 50 in that span was to former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the 2023 Wimbledon first round.

Comeback kept at bay: Gauff had no problems cruising to a 6-1, 3-0 lead over Cocciaretto, but the Italian sprung to life in the second set, coming out on top in numerous lengthy rallies. Cocciaretto leveled the set at 4-4 and prevented Gauff from serving out the match at 5-4.

However, Gauff broke Cocciaretto for the eighth time in the match to reclaim her break lead at 6-5. This time around, the American successfully closed out the win, slamming an overhead to wrap up a highly competitive second set.

Surging Pliskova awaits: Former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova will be Gauff's opponent in Wednesday's Round of 16. Pliskova battled past another 19-year-old American, wild card Ashlyn Krueger, 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday.

Highlights: Pliskova def. Krueger

Pliskova is on an 11-match winning streak, which has spanned the past 15 days. The Czech has more than halved her ranking from No.78 to No.36 in a fortnight. 

Two weeks ago, Pliskova won her first title since 2020 in Cluj-Napoca, and last week she reached the Doha semifinals before withdrawing ahead of her match with Iga Swiatek due to injury (the uncontested match does not count as a loss for Pliskova).

Gauff and Pliskova have split their two previous meetings, but this will be their first clash on hard court. Pliskova won in three sets on the clay courts of Madrid in 2021, but Gauff avenged that loss with a straight-sets victory on the grass of Berlin in 2022.

Ostapenko, Kalinskaya set meeting: At the other end of Gauff's quarter, No.9 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia extended her hot form in 2024 by knocking out Swiss wild card Lulu Sun 6-4, 6-3 in their 80-minute second-round match on Tuesday.

Highlights: Ostapenko def. Sun

World No.9 Ostapenko, whose ranking is in the single-digits for the first time since May of 2018, remains tied for the tour lead in match-wins this year -- she and Elena Rybakina have each won 16 matches in 2024. They are also the only players who have won two titles this year.

Ostapenko will meet qualifier Anna Kalinskaya in the Round of 16. World No.40 Kalinskaya, who reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at this year's Australian Open, beat Spanish lucky loser Cristina Bucsa 6-3, 6-4. Bucsa took an injured Ons Jabeur's place in the draw.

Kalinskaya defeated Ostapenko in their only previous encounter, winning 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of last year's Adelaide International 2.