Gauff survives 17 double-faults to join Swiatek, Sabalenka in WTA SF

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Cancun, Mexico — Coco Gough Overcame 17 double-faults and bounced back from being one game away from elimination in the WTA finals on Friday, eventually advancing to the semifinals with a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over the Wimbledon champion. Marketa Vondrosova In round robin matches.

“Mental toughness is the biggest thing I’m satisfied with,” Goff said. “It was a tough match. He’s not an easy player. Not an easy condition. And I’m in there, every point, just fighting.”

He will face his best friend — and double partner — Jessica Pegula A berth in an All-American game on Saturday risks reaching the finals. The other semi-final of the season-ending championship will feature no. 1 Arina Sabalenka Against the woman he replaced in the rankings in September, no. 2 Iga Swiatek. Year-end no. Swiatek needs to grab the title to replace Sabalenka.

Goff, the 19-year-old from Florida who won the US Open in September, finished 2-1 in round-robin action. Four-time major champion Switek went 3-0 in their group, including a 6-1, 6-2 victory. on this day Windy and rainy conditions on Friday

Sabalenka reached the semi-finals for the second time in a row after losing Elena Rybakina 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 Friday in a contest interrupted repeatedly by rain the night before. That made Sabalenka 2-1 and allowed her to finish second behind unbeaten Pegula in the other round-robin group.

Goff reeled off four straight games and 16 of 21 points to lead in the opening set and drop it later, trailing 1-0. There was a 25-minute rain delay at the start of the second set; Perhaps it helped Goff regroup a bit.

Still, Vondrosova managed to get ahead and serve out the second to win 6-5. Goof broke to stay there. And despite falling behind briefly in the third set, Goff took five of the last six games of the match. Vondrosova went 0-3 in the group stage.

“Every match, you want to win, but I knew I had to (at least) get a set — and hopefully a win — to even have a chance to advance,” Goff said, “so I’m really glad I got down. Got to come in and do my best to get through it.”

Sabalenka vs. Rybakina on Thursday night was halted with Rybakina serving out the second set at 5-3 to try to force a third set. When they started again, he did just that. But Sabalenka came through the decider — though not without some tension in the last game: she had to save five break points and needed four match points to finish it off.

“Really tough conditions, and I’m very happy that I was able to get this win, no matter what,” said Sabalenka, who double-faulted 15 times.

It was a rematch of the Australian Open final in January, also won by Sabalenka.

Rybakina was eliminated with the loss on Friday.

There were a half dozen rain delays during Thursday’s stop-start-stop action.

“Just a lot of ups and downs,” said Rybakina, who will win Wimbledon in 2022.

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