Preview: Katie Boulter v Coco Gauff | H2H: First Meeting
Katie Boulter came swinging out of the blocks in her opening round against Anna Kalinskaya. Despite having dropped down the rankings, she showed no signs of rustiness as she ran off six games on the bounce to take the first set and start the second set just as positively.
It was a tighter second set from the Russian, who had chances to break but could not convert – not a mistake Boulter made when she was again presented with a chance to take the lead. It looked a comfortable and accomplished performance to start the season.
It was less straight forward an advance for Coco Gauff who started well enough after dancing around a few break points along with her opponent Jil Teichmann before Gauff grabbed the crucial break at the end of the first set to close out for a lead.
Gauff was made to feel the pressure in a long game at the start of the second set, finally converting on her seventh chance in the opening game, and it looked as though it would be a fait accompli, but Teichmann snuck a break back before going on to level the match on the tie-break.
It looked a cagey affair in the third set, with Teichmann breaking first only for Gauff to break twice in succession. Teichmann broke again to get back on serve, but this time the resulting tie-break went the way of the young American.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2020)
Cori Gauff (48)
Katie Boulter (369)
1st Serve Return Points Won %
Return Points Won %
Break Point Conversion
Break Points Saved
Total Points Won
It is easy to take Gauff’s easy power and athleticism for granted and assume that she wil always have the upper hand, but the stats match up pretty evenly, putting Boulter ahead on converting her chances on her opponents return and saving her own skin when required.
Boulter’s pacey aggressive game was impressive on Monday, and she left Kalinskaya standing for much of the time – that is not something she can rely on at all with Gauff whose rangy movement all around the court is just one aspect of an impressive game.
She is not some teenager who will cave in when under pressure – more that she thoroughly thrives on it, and at such a young age, has some very good court smarts in figuring things out and trying different things out on court.
Sometimes shot selection can let Gauff down, and her forehand can break down, but you would still give the edge to the youngster. But we suspect she will have to work for it. If Boulter comes out anywhere near as sharp and as homed in as she did against Kalinskaya, Gauff could find herself going the distance again.
Prediction: Gauff in three sets
Boulter and Gauff are scheduled second on Court 8 at 12pm (1am GMT).
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