Italian Open: Gauff downs Kerber; wins for Bencic and Fernandez
Number 15 seed, Coco Gauff, beat three-time Grand Slam winner, Angelique Kerber, in the first round of the 2022 Italian Open on Monday. Gauff clinched a straight-set win over the German (6-1, 6-4). Canada's Leylah Fernandez overcame the number 14 seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Belinda Bencic and Victoria Azarenka have progressed in the second round as well. Here are more details.
A look at the numbers from the match
Gauff dished out three aces and won 76% on her first serve. She won 36 points off her serves to Kerber's 26. Gauff pocketed 65 points in total. She converted five of her 12 break points. Kerber has now lost her last six matches.
Fernandez ousts Pavlyuchenkova in Round of 64
Leylah Fernandez defeated Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova across three sets. She now enjoys a 2-0 over the latter, having won the previous match between the two at the Indian Wells Masters in 2021. As per WTA, it was Fernandez's maiden win in the Italian Open's main draw. The world number 18 had lost in the qualifying rounds on the last two occasions.
Bencic eases past Cocciaretto in Round of 64
The number 12 seed battered Italy's wildcard, Elisabetta Cocciaretto, 6-4, 6-2. She has now pocketed nine wins on clay in 2022, ranking second only to Ons Jabeur (12). As per WTA, it was Bencic's third win in six trips to the Italian Open. She will be up against the winner between Amanda Anisimova and Tereza Martincova of Czech.
'I definitely feel like I'm playing well', says Bencic
"I definitely feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I'm a step ahead of last year at this time, and I think it's positive for me," said Bencic following the win. Bencic added that she is constantly improving her game.
A look at the other winners in the first round
Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina beat Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4. It was Kalinina's second win over Keys in a WTA 1000 event in 2022. She had earlier beaten the latter in Miami Open. Victoria Azarenka beat Viktorija Golubic 6-3, 6-0. Simona Halep beat Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4. Petra Martic defeated Karolina Muchova 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Daria Kasatkina hammered Tamara Zidansek 6-4, 6-3.
Wins for Sasnovich, Putintseva, and Shuai
China's Zhang Shuai outclassed Martina Trevisan 6-4, 6-2. Aliaksandra Sasnovich claimed an arduous win over Veronika Kudermetova 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1. Yulia Putintseva beat Kaja Juvan 7-5, 4-6, 7-5. Ajla Tomljanovic was handed a walkover by Camila Giorgi (6-3, 4-2).