16-year-old American sensation Cori 'Coco' Gauff will be looking to continue her impressive run by making the semifinals of the WTA Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. Standing in her way is eighth seed Ons Jabeur, who will have her own goals ahead of the American hardcourt season.
Gauff eked out a close win in her first-round match against Caroline Dolehide to make it to the second round. Then, in possibly the surprise of the tournament so far, she downed second seed and World No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka over three hard-fought sets.
The American's well-rounded game was in top form, as she struck a total of 37 winners and broke Sabalenka's serve seven times to grind out a 7-6 4-6 6-4 win.
Her Friday's opponent Ons Jabeur has had her own run of good form during the course of the tournament in Lexington. After initially struggling with the travel restrictions, Jabeur decimated her first-round opponent Catherine McNally in straight sets. She then overturned a one-set deficit against Olga Govortsova in the second round.
Jabeur was perhaps playing the best tennis of her life before the COVID-19 pandemic, having become the first Arab woman to make it to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. From the looks of things though, the lockdown hasn't had much of an effect on the World No. 39 as she has picked up right where she left off.
Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur head-to-head
The quarterfinal matchup at Lexington is set to be the first meeting between Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur. That is not a surprise given the former's young age, which prohibits her from playing a full schedule on the WTA tour.
Jabeur is known to be an aggressive baseliner with a formidable forehand that can be used to smash winners as well as take control of long rallies. However, Gauff has held her own against aggressive baseliners in the recent past. Her balance and quick footwork make her the perfect foil to Jabeur's style of play.
Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur prediction
Similarly strong form after the lockdown coupled with distinctly contrasting styles make this match an unpredictable one. Both players will be looking to serve better than they have in the tournament so far, but the rest of their games seem to be in fine working order already.
Ons Jabeur will be looking to be aggressive from the get-go and exploit Gauff's forehand. But the momentum that Gauff gained against Sabalenka and her speed across the court might be enough to get her across the line.
Prediction: Coco Gauf to win in three hard-fought sets.
Tournament: Top Seed Open 2020
Venue: Lexington, USA
Category: WTA International
Prize money: $225,500
Match timing: 3.15 pm EDT, 12.45 am ISTPublished 14 Aug 2020, 14:39 IST