Coco Gauff starts 2024 the same way she started 2023, by winning the ASB Classic. The final match between Gauff and Elina Svitolina was a three-set thriller with Gauff winning 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Svitolina continues to impress. She won the first set against Gauff showing that the two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist will be a force to reckon with in Melbourne.
Gauff has approached this tournament with extreme focus and intensity. It was clear that she wanted to defend her title and put the world on notice that her 2023 US Open win was not the only Grand Slam she had her sights set on. With the win, Gauff captures her seventh career WTA title.
At ASB Classic, Coco Gauff and Elina Svitolina both show that they are serious Australian Open contenders
The WTA should be thrilled at the high-quality tennis produced at an opening tournament for the year. Svitolina, despite some physical issues with her back in a previous round, played well after a rough road to the final that involved defeating Carolina Wozniacki and Emma Raducanu.
Gauff's road to the final provided minimal challenges. Dropping a set to Svitolina was her first real challenge, and it did not deter or discourage her. The 19-year-old has amassed maturity and confidence in her game knowing that she has the tools to win any given match. She can problem-solve, hit hard, and run down every ball to stay competitive no matter the score.
Svitolina, 29, returned to tennis in 2023 after giving birth to her daughter with a singular focus on winning. She wants to be in the conversation in the late stages of a Grand Slam and has improved her game to do so. Physical issues have hampered her at different times in the past 10 months so hopefully she can stay healthy this season.