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Gauff reaches Stuttgart quarter-finals with win over Vickery

STUTTGART (AP) – Coco Gauff battled her way to the quarterfinals of the Porsche Grand Prix on Wednesday with a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over compatriot Sachia Vickery.

The 134th-ranked Vickery created 19 break points but could only convert seven of them against the world number three in the second round.

Gauff had 15 double faults in the match, but rallied from 4-2 down in the final set before winning in two hours and 26 minutes with her first match point.

Gauff, who received a first-round bye at the clay-court tournament, awaits the winner between number seven Zheng Qinwen and Marta Kostyuk.

Kostyuk earlier overcame former champion Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in their first-round match. The Ukrainian player twice served for the match in the second set only for Siegemund, who won the Stuttgart tournament in 2017, to take it to the third.

Coco Gauff. PHOTO: AP

In the other second-round match on Wednesday, second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka advanced when her opponent and close friend Paula Badosa retired at 3-3 in the third set with an apparent leg injury. Badosa had a medical timeout while leading at 5-4 in the second set and returned with strapping on her left leg.

“I feel so bad for her… I don’t have any emotions right now, I’m not happy, I’m not sad,” said Sabalenka, who advanced 7-6 (4), 4-6, 3-3, retired.

Emma Raducanu powered to a 6-2, 6-1 win over former top-ranked player Angelique Kerber in a first-round meeting of two players with wild cards for the draw. The 2021 US Open champion goes on to meet Linda Noskova in the second round.

Ons Jabeur also had to fight hard to prevail in a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) win over Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia. Jabeur was down a break in both the second and third sets before winning.

The Tunisian player next faces Italy’s Jasmine Paolini in the second round.

Eight of the top-10 ranked women are playing at the tournament, the main event in the first week of clay tournaments on the WTA Tour this season.

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