American teenager Coco Gauff breezed into the second round, while No. 15 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine was ousted by a player ranked outside the top-100 at the Adelaide International here on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old Gauff, ranked No.22, got past Norwegian qualifier Ulrikke Eikeri 6-2, 6-1 in 63 minutes. The 29-year-old Eikeri, ranked No.306 in the world, was playing a top-50 opponent for only the second time.
Gauff faced three break points in the opening set but fended each of them off as she claimed the one-set lead. It was even more one-sided for the American in the second set, which she won without facing any break points.
With the win, Gauff has set up a mouth-watering second-round clash against world No.1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia. In their only prior encounter, Gauff beat Barty in last year’s Rome quarterfinals, after the Australian retired from the match due to an arm injury.
No.8 seed Svitolina of Ukraine lost to Russia’s Anastasia Gasanova 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in a two-hour and 34-minute contest. World No.130 Gasanova has now won both of her career matches against top-20 players, and they both came in the opening week of the year.
In 2021, Gasanova shocked Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the season-opening event in Abu Dhabi.
Playing her first main-draw match in Australia, Gasanova was unfazed after dropping the first set, and she broke 15th-ranked Svitolina three times apiece in the second and third sets to grit out the upset.
“I was just working so hard every single day (in the off-season), and I was just giving everything,” 22-year-old Gasanova was quoted as saying by wtatennis.com following her win.