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Coco Gauff Advances To The Australian Open’s 2nd Round In Bid Coco Gauff Advances To The Australian Open’s 2nd Round In Bid

Coco Gauff advances to the Australian Open’s 2nd round in bid for consecutive Grand Slam titles

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — With increased confidence in her serve thanks to some advice from Andy Roddick, Coco Gauff began her quest for back-to-back Grand Slam singles titles with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova at the Australian Open on Monday.

The 19-year-old American, who won her first major at the U.S. Open in September, wrapped up victory in exactly one hour.

“I was a little nervous the first set,” fourth-seeded Gauff said. “I think I did well returning, then I found my serve toward the end (of the set). When I was nervous at 3-3, I told myself: ‘I feel good, I look good, so just have fun’. That was able to relax me a little bit’.”

Gauff dropped just one point on her serve in the second set and said that former No. 1 Roddick had recently given her some serving tips.

“It was really cool,” she said. “He’s a really chill guy. I met him before but never to that level. I went to Charlotte (North Carolina) for two days. It was a really good two days. I think that my serve has improved. He’s probably one of the best servers in history . . . “

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova didn’t make it past the first round, beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Dayana Yastremska.

Seventh-seeded Vondrousova missed the Adelaide tune-up event with a hip injury and struggled on serve throughout, hitting seven double faults.

“I didn’t practice because I was injured,” she said. “I think that was the important thing. I lost myself at the beginning.”

Australia’s newest Top 10 player Alex de Minaur advanced after a truncated opening night match on Rod Laver Arena. He was leading 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic 6-7 (6), 6-3, 2-0 when the big-serving Canadian retired from the match with injury.

Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 and 2022 finalist at Melbourne Park and at last year’s U.S. Open, also advanced when his opponent retired from their match.

Medvedev had dropped the first set but was leading 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 1-0 when the 22-year-old Terence Atmane quit because of cramps.

“When I was feeling tired in the third set, I looked up the other end and saw he was cramping,” Medvedev said. “The conditions were fine but it has not been hot these seven days and then it was hot today, so you get more stressed.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost last year’s Australian final to Novak Djokovic in three sets, advanced with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Zizou Bergs.

Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion and three-time Grand Slam winner, was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 by Adrian Mannarino. That left 10-time winner Djokovic as the only Australian champion left in the men’s draw.

Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray lost to Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 and said it might be the last time he contests the season’s first major.

“It’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here,” said Murray, who has been ranked No. 1 and won three majors but hasn’t been past the third round at a Grand Slam since returning after hip surgery. “I think probably because of how the match went.”

Gael Monfils, who has been playing the Australian Open since 2005, opened with a straight sets win over Yannick Hanfmann.

Ben Shelton, who reached the quarterfinals on debut here last year, beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-6 (2), 7-5.

Four-time major winner Naomi Osaka was set for her much-anticipated comeback to Grand Slam tennis after the birth of her daughter. The Japanese player was playing Caroline Garcia of France in the first round in the last match on Rod Laver Arena.

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