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Rome 2020: Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur preview, head-to-head & prediction | Italian Open

Coco Gauff at the 2018 junior French Open
Coco Gauff at the 2018 junior French Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 14 Sep 2020, 23:22 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur

Date: 15 September 2020

Tournament: Italian Open 2020

Round: First round (Round of 64)

Venue: Rome, Italy

Category: WTA Premier 5

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €1,771,082

Match timing: 4.30 pm CEST, 8 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN

Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur preview

Ons Jabeur at the 2020 US Open
Ons Jabeur at the 2020 US Open

Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur kick off their claycourt campaigns as they face each other in the first round of the Italian Open on Tuesday.

Gauff took the world by storm at Wimbledon last year, where she reached the fourth round. She has lived up to the expectations so far, with high-profile wins across the board and her maiden career title at Linz.

Since the pandemic, Gauff has not been in the best form but has shown that she can stand up to the big players. The American registered a semifinal finish in Lexington, before bowing out of both the Western & Southern Open and the US Open in the first round.

Gauff's opponent in the first round, Tunisia's Ons Jabeur, has seen a meteoric rise in the rankings over the last few years and has produced decent results in the 2020 season. Jabeur followed up her quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open with quarterfinal runs in Doha, Lexington and the Western & Southern Open, before coming up short in the third round of the US Open against Sofia Kenin.

Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur head-to-head

Coco Gauff at the Top Seed Open 2020
Coco Gauff at the Top Seed Open 2020

The meeting in Rome is the second between the two players; Coco Gauff leads the head-to-head 1-0 over Ons Jabeur.

Their previous meeting came exactly one month prior to their match on Tuesday, in the Top Seed Open quarterfinal at Lexington. After losing the first set against a fierce looking Jabeur, the American rallied to win the match 4-6 6-4 6-1 and book her place in the semifinal.

Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur prediction

Ons Jabuer at the 2019 French Open
Ons Jabuer at the 2019 French Open

Both Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur come into this match in similar form. But given her relatively greater experience on clay, Jabeur would have a slight edge.

The Tunisian's aggressive style of play, through which she employs a grand variety of shots, might be too much for Gauff to cope with. Jabeur can hit effortless winners off both wings and also use deft slices to really test her opponents' movement on the court.

Gauff has been touted by many as a future Grand Slam champion, and the 16-year-old has proven why on many occasions. The American has shown progress on both the physical and the tactical side of her game, with able defence from both wings and the kind of movement that can threaten big hitters like Jabeur on any surface.

But Gauff's inexperience on clay at the senior level, despite the fact that she won the junior French Open title a couple of years ago, might be the reason she comes up short against Jabuer.

Prediction: Ons Jabuer to win in three sets.

Published 14 Sep 2020, 23:22 IST
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