Coco Gauff's new doubles partnership pays off, reaches Rome Open doubles final to face home hopes

Saturday, 18 May 2024 at 07:04
Coco Gauff has embarked on a new doubles journey this fortnight with Jessica Pegula not able to play at the moment and the show going on for the American. But she has reached the final of the Rome Open with a new partner.
Gauff who previously teamed with Caty McNally, but moved on to join forces with her fellow top American singles star in Jessica Pegula was forced to find a new partner. Pegula is currently injured and is unlikely to play until the grass court season now. This in itself throws a spanner in the works for Gauff who will look to play in particular with the Olympic Games on the horizon.
But she decided to seek out a doubles specialist in Erin Routliffe who became her new doubles partner at least for now. Whether that changes for Roland Garros remains to be seen. But they battled past Wang Xinyu and Zheng Saisai 6-3, 7-6 in one hour and 28 minutes to book a final spot.
The second set in particular proved a difficult task with 10/12 games going against serve. Gauff served for the match at 5-4 and held a match point, but she was unable to convert. Routliffe had the same equation and the same result at 6-5 as Wang sent it into a tie-break.
But the American Kiwi combo regrouped as they romped to a 6-2 lead in the tie-break before converting a fourth match point for victory. Gauff is now into her second straight Rome final after they finished runners-up last time to Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter. That was also a good run for the pair as they also reached the Madrid final. They now face Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini in the final.
An unheralded home hero duo, they took down eighth seeds Caroline Dolehide and Sesirae Krawczyk with ease 6-1, 6-2. Like a work of art, they needed only 60 minutes to seal the deal winning six out of eight return games, this while only dropping serve once. They will now attempt to bring home glory to Italy on Sunday on the day of the men's final between Alexander Zverev and Nicolas Jarry.

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