Coco Gauff took another stride in her development as she cruised past Wang Qiang in the final of the Emilia-Romagna Open to claim her second career WTA singles title on Saturday.
The 17-year-old American closed out a 6-1 6-3 victory in an hour and 14 minutes to build on her semi-final spot at last week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Gauff lost just one set throughout the tournament and has now won 20 of her last 26 matches on tour. Having arrived in Parma ranked at a career-high world No 30, her latest triumph will see her rise to No 25 and, as a result, be seeded for the French Open.
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Victory selfie 🏆 #Parma #doublesnext pic.twitter.com/BxY9rEDZqj
“It feels great,” said Gauff. “This is my second WTA title. This week has been really cool. I think I’ve been playing really well and hopefully I can keep going through Roland Garros.
“The fact that I can play on clay. I always said that clay was not my favourite surface. I still am a hard [court]. It will always be my favourite, but I like the dirt of it.
“I beat some tough players this week and even in Rome last week, so it’s just all about gaining experience. And I think this will just add to my experience, and that’s what I’ve been lacking and hopefully that this can give me a boost.”
Gauff raced out to a 3-0 lead in the contest and would allow her opponent just one service game en route to taking a dominant opening set, which she wrapped up after overcoming three breaks points while serving at 5-1 up.
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An incredible week, ✨@CocoGauff
Your 2021 #EmiliaRomagnaOpen Champion 🏆 pic.twitter.com/PIgBT6nnjG
The teenager then quashed a fourth break point of the match for Wang to record a hold of serve for 2-2 in the second set, before breaking immediately after and withstanding an improved performance from the No 6 seed to see out the job.
Gauff won three-quarters of her first-service points and finished the match with 23 winners in comparison to Wang’s 11.
She added to her singles success later in the day by securing the doubles title alongside Caty McNally as the pair beat Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepac 6-3 6-2.
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