Top seed After easily defeating another opponent on Saturday to go to the final in Auckland, Coco Gauff claimed she couldn’t have started 2023 off any better.
Coco Gauff, the top seed, claimed that 2023 couldn’t have started any better after easily defeating another opponent on Saturday to go to the Auckland final. Defeating Montenegrin seventh seed Danka Kovinic 6-0, 6-2 gave American youngster and world number seven Gauff further proof that she will be a force at this month’s Australian Open. The aggressive Gauff has not lost a set in the WTA 250 tournament in New Zealand, and she will face Rebeka Masarova of Spain in the championship match on Sunday as a clear favourite.
The 130th-ranked Masarova defeated the Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure in a semi-final matchup that included two qualifiers, winning 6-3, 6-3. Their deep tournament run encapsulated a week in which the seeds had difficulty performing.
Gauff is the exception; in her four matches, she hasn’t lost a set and has only given up a total of 20 games.
The 18-year-old will compete in her fourth career final, her first since falling to world number one Iga Swiatek in the French Open championship match seven months ago.
“I didn’t expect this outcome coming into the tournament,” Gauff said.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, regardless of the result tomorrow.”