Fixture: (15) Coco Gauff vs (4) Maria Sakkari
Date: 12 May 2022
Tournament: Italian Open 2022.
Round: Third round (Round of 16).
Venue: Rome, Italy.
Category: WTA 1000.
Prize money: €2,527,250.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Coco Gauff vs Maria Sakkari preview
World No. 15 Coco Gauff squares off against Maria Sakkari in the last 16 of the Italian Open on Thursday.
The 18-year-old American is the youngest player to be ranked in the top 100 of the women's rankings.
The American is still trying to find her form on claycourt. Gauff couldn't progress beyond the second round in Stuttgart, where she lost to Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-2.
The youngster bounced back in the Madrid Open. She played some top-quality tennis, defeating World No. 40 Yulia Putintseva in the second round 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 before going down to Simona Halep 6-4, 6-4.
Gauff began her campaign in the Italian capital by outplaying Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4. She sailed past Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-4 to set up a third-round clash against World No. 4 Maria Sakkari.
The Greek has had a solid start to the year despite not having lifted a title yet. She made the finals of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia and lost against Anett Kontaveit 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5.
She continued her good run of form in the next couple of events in Doha and Indian Wells, but was beaten by Iga Swiatek at both venues.
Sakkari reached the third round at the Stuttgart Open but was forced to retire due to illness. She didn't take too long to get back on tour though and scored an impressive first-round victory over Madison Keys at the Madrid Open. Daria Kasatkina made sure the Greek did not move to the last 16, coming back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Sakkari started off her Italian Open campaign with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Coco Gauff vs Maria Sakkari head-to-head
The two have played each other four times in the last two years. Sakkari leads the head-to-head 3-1. All three of Sakkari's victories have come on hardcourt.
Gauff won their only match on clay at the Italian Open last year in three sets.
Coco Gauff vs Maria Sakkari odds
All odds have been sourced from Oddschecker
Coco Gauff vs Maria Sakkari prediction
Coco Gauff is yet to drop a set at the Italian Open. She is a fairly decent player on clay and can move quickly around the court and force her opponent to hit an extra shot. She made the semifinals in Rome last season before losing to Iga Swiatek.
Gauff, however, struggled with her first serve in the last round and will need to improve that aspect of her game against a player of Sakkari's caliber.
The Greek, on her part, will look to dictate the points from the baseline with her powerful groundstrokes. Sakkari is also supremely fit and should have no trouble engaging in long, physical rallies against her younger opponent.
All things considered, the Greek is the favorite and should be able to come through this match.
Pick: Sakkari to win in 3 sets