Coco Gauff had to dig deep in her first match on U.S. soil since her coronation at last summer's US Open. In the first round of the BNP Paribas Open against France's Clara Burel on Saturday, the No.3 seed trailed 6-2, 2-0 -- and 4-0 and 5-2 in the third set -- but battled all the way back to a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) win and a spot in the third round. 

Gauff had won her last 17 matches on U.S. soil -- which famously included titles in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati last summer before her crowning moment in New York, where she became the youngest American woman to win her home major since Serena Williams in 1999.

In her first match at home since then, Gauff struggled. She double-faulted 10 times, faced 14 break points (and was broken six times), and missed more shots than she made. But she showed some of her trademark fight: Gauff won five straight games from 6-3, 2-0 down en route to forcing a third, and also won three in a row from 5-2 down in the decider. (At one stage, it was eight straight points -- and she later held down 6-5.)

But she found her best tennis to finish her penultimate match as a teenager (Gauff turns 20 on Wednesday, and is now the first woman to score 50 WTA 1000 wins before that age.) She started the tiebreak quickly with a 4-1 lead, which ballooned to 6-2, and wrapped up the victory on her third match point.

Burel was bidding for her second career Top 10 win, but fell short in a match that eventually clocked in at 2 hours and 16 minutes. After five losses to such opponents on the Hologic WTA Tour, the 22-year-old Frenchwoman broke through at the Australian Open, where she upset Gauff's doubles partner -- World No.5 Jessica Pegula -- en route to the third round in Melbourne for the first time. 

“Happy with the mental fight," Gauff said on-court afterwards. "It wasn’t my best tennis, but it’s not about how you show up on your good days, it’s how you show up on your bad ones. I’m happy with how I showed up today."

Later, she added: "I think for me it's just getting through that match definitely meant a lot," she said. "Could have easily thrown in the towel. But honestly, I was just telling myself, like, win or lose, I don't want to have any regrets on the court. I want to be like I gave myself the best opportunity to win, and I did that.

"Am I proud of how I played? Not really, to be honest. But the fight, I am proud of. I am eager to improve. I think it wasn't my best tennis at all. I think I just have a lot of improvement that I can do to get better."

Gauff moves through to a third-round match against Italy's Lucia Bronzetti, who scored an upset of her own against No.32 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, 6-3, 6-4.