Coco Gauff overcame double faults and Sachia Vickery at Stuttgart

Gauff dusted off a little rust in her first clay court match of the year
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Coco Gauff and Sachia Vickery gave tennis fans the battle of the Americans on Tuesday in Stuttgart. Americans have historically struggled in this tournament with the last champion being Lindsay Davenport in 2005.

Gauff looked a little rusty in her clay court play. Her athleticism is never in question, but her serve was. Many double faults came off her racquet, but Vickery's serve was shaky at times also.

An upset was potentially brewing when Vickery was up 4-2 in the third set, one point from 5-2. Gauff turned it around, raised her level, and found a way to take the third set 7-5.

Gauff is on her way to preparing for Roland Garros

Vickery is a veteran who had the benefit of previously playing on the court as she came through the qualifying rounds. She was vying for her first quarterfinal appearance in a WTA 500 tournament since 2014. The 28-year-old is currently ranked outside the Top 100 but peaked at No. 73 in 2018.

Vickery was winded and frequently visibly frustrated by the lost opportunities in the match. Gauff also had lost opportunities but never showed her frustration and never looked winded while running down the balls in lengthy rallies in the nearly 2 1/2-hour contest.

Gauff would like nothing more than to hone her clay court game before getting to Roland Garros. Of course, Stuttgart is indoor clay which is slightly different, but Gauff's earliest Grand Slam success was at Roland Garros as a finalist in 2022.

Iga Swiatek has maintained a choke hold on Roland Garros for the past two years, but if anyone can dethrone her on the clay, it is Gauff. Gauff has to be thinking not only about her opportunities at Roland Garros at the French Open but also in the summer when Roland Garros hosts the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the meantime, Gauff will face the winner of the Round of 16 match between Qinwen Zheng and Marta Kostyuk on Friday.

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