Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Sports

Tennis-Gauff unleashes power serve to down second-round foe Buzarnescu

LONDON (Reuters) -It was an easy day at the office for American teenager Coco Gauff, who unleashed her mighty serve to beat Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2 6-3 in the Wimbledon second round on Thursday.

The Roland-Garros finalist broke Buzarnescu’s serve in the fourth game and launched an 122 mph rocket to win the fifth, only to best that with a 124 mph torpedo in the second set, the fastest serves so far in the women’s tournament.

Gauff, who never faced a break and won 85% of her first-serve points, broke the Romanian again to close out the first set in a brisk 31 minutes on Centre Court.

The 18-year-old slipped and fell in the sixth game of the second set but never lost her poise, forcing Buzarnescu into an error in the eighth game to break her serve.

She closed out the affair with an ace, one of 10 across the match.

“I would say growing up I didn’t expect myself to be as comfortable as I am on the grass and the clay,” she told reporters.

“Playing an unpredictable surface, (what) I really credit a lot is my speed and my ability to be able to react and adjust. I think that’s what you need on these surfaces.”

The win set up a third-round showdown with compatriot and 20th-seeded Amanda Anisimova, who defeated fellow American Lauren Davis 2-6 6-3 6-4 on Thursday.

Gauff exploded onto the global stage in 2019 when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon at just 15-years-old. She advanced to the last 16 last year, as well.

“Today was the first time I walked on the court and really wasn’t nervous at all,” said Gauff.

“It’s a little bit of a home-court advantage. I do feel like it’s a home court for me. Majority of the time when I’m playing on that court, I would say the majority of the crowd is with me.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New YorkEditing by Christian Radnedge)

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