Fixture: (21) Coco Gauff vs Magda Linette
Tournament: US Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: New York, United States
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $40,560,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - BBC TV & Radio | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Coco Gauff vs Magda Linette preview
The fast-improving Gauff is in the middle of a fantastic season. The 17-year-old's maturity belies her age and she has already established herself as a top contender for the big titles.
Gauff had a brilliant claycourt swing this year. She won the title in Parma, made her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros and reached the semifinals in Rome. She backed that up with a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon. However, her momentum was halted as she tested positive for COVID-19 and had to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics.
But she bounced back in style, reaching the quarterfinals in Montreal. Gauff will be keen to carry that form to New York and make a statement at her home Slam.
Magda Linette, who reached a career-high ranking of 33 last year, has had an underwhelming season so far. The Pole has reached the quarterfinals or better in just three of the 15 events she's participated in this year.
But two of those came at the US Open Series, which should give her a huge boost of confidence heading into the final Major of the year.
Linette has the game to test Coco Gauff and she will be hoping to pull off a first-round upset in New York.
Coco Gauff vs Magda Linette head-to-head
Coco Gauff vs Magda Linette have never squared off on the tour before, so their head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Coco Gauff vs Magda Linette prediction
By dint of her form and ranking, Coco Gauff is the favorite in this first-round clash, but she might not find it easy to get past Linette.
Linette played some solid tennis this week in Cleveland and even managed to show the door to top seed Daria Kasatkina en route to the last four. The Pole has plenty of confidence and momentum on her side.
Gauff's ability to convert defense into offense will come in handy against a player like Linette who likes to engage in baseline rallies. The American has also learnt to be more patient in rallies, pulling the trigger at the right time. She also likes to move forward and finish points at the net whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Gauff definitely has more firepower than Linette and should be able to come through this clash.
Prediction: Coco Gauff to win in two tight sets.