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Marie Bouzkova upsets Coco Gauff in Rome

Mar 6, 2023; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Marie Bouzkova hits on the practice courts during day 1 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Well Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Marie Bouzkova rallied from a set down on Sunday to knock off sixth-seeded Coco Gauff 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the round of 16 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

The 27th-seeded Bouzkova was outplayed in the first set but drastically turned things around by losing just four games over the final two sets.

The Czech Republic native saved five of eight break points while winning in 2 hours and 8 minutes.

“Even after the first set, I just kept on fighting, and I kind of knew that I had to elevate my game to get the win today, and at least stay in the match,” Bouzkova said. “I think I did that pretty well, and then my service games started to work, and I just started to feel really comfortable on the court.”

Gauff had six aces with half of them coming in the opening set.

Bouzkova will next face No. 11 seed Veronika Kudermetova, who recorded a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory over fellow Russian Anastasia Potapova, the No. 23 seed, on Saturday.

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine. Swiatek is 11-1 on clay this season.

After losing the first two games, Swiatek won the ensuing 12 games in convincing fashion.

“After a pretty rusty start, I was able to break back pretty quickly, so I’m happy that I played a solid game,” Swiatek said. “Just have another experience playing on center court, and I’m happy that it wasn’t raining.”

Swiatek will next face No. 21 seed Donna Vekic. The Croatian moved on with a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over No. 16 Liudmila Samsonova of Russia.

No. 7 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan had a short day as her opponent, Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya, retired with a hand injury in the first set. Rybakina was leading 4-3.

“I didn’t expect it, of course,” Rybakina said. “I just want to wish Anna to recover as soon as possible. I’m happy to play another match and, hopefully, I can show my best.”

Rybakina will next face Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who registered a 7-5, 6-3 upset of ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece.

No. 8 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia survived a scare by outlasting Austria’s Julia Grabher 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2).

No. 10 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic wasn’t as fortunate as No. 20 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia delivered a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory. Ostapenko had a 21-9 edge in winners.

Spain’s Paula Badosa cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 32 seed Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine. No. 19 Madison Keys won in a walkover when No. 14 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus withdrew due to a leg injury.

Also, Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic notched a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Italy’s Camili Giorgi.

–Field Level Media

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