Thrill-seeking Coco Gauff has rocketed down the fastest serve of the women’s tournament en route to a rapid-fire entry to the Australian Open fourth round in Melbourne.
The reigning US Open champion cast friendship aside in a commanding 6-0 6-2 victory over fellow American Alycia Parks on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.
Gauff clocked one delivery at 199kph but was more pleased about converting all five break points against her 23-year-old compatriot.
“It’s tough because she’s a big server, so you’re not going to be able to strike as much as you want to,” said fourth seed Gauff.
“I did a good job with that and also mixing the height and the pace of the ball.
“She’s a big hitter, she likes it fast. So I was just trying my best to be aggressive when I could but also just playing with margin.”
Despite the one-sided victory, Gauff is predicting a bright future for Parks, who broke through to claim her maiden WTA Tour title last season in Lyon.
“I’m really happy with how I played today,” Gauff said.
“The scoreline says different, but she’s a tough player. She hits the ball big and I’ve known her since I was like nine or eight years old, probably even younger than that.
“This was our first time ever playing, juniors or pro, but hopefully we can have many more matches in the future.”
Riding a 10-match grand slam winning streak, and yet to lose in 2024 after taking the title in Auckland, Gauff has yet to drop a set this campaign and needed only a total of four hours, slots online casino 20 minutes on court to make the second week.
Such efficiency has left the Crown-loving 19-year-old with more down time, and resisting the urge to hit the tables seems to have been more of a battle than her Open rivals so far.
“I have not gone to the casino yet, but I did last year and I won in roulette so I can see how people get addicted to that,” said Gauff, who bungee-jumped off the 53-story-tall Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand.
“But here we’ve been doing mini golf, escape rooms, eating a lot and just watching the tennis.
“I always enjoy Melbourne. It reminds me of Florida a little bit with the weather and the crowds here are very nice.
“We love being here in Australia.”
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