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Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff Reach Round of 16 at BNP Paribas Open

Coco Gauff reached the BNP Paribas Open round of 16 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open)

The Sunshine Double gives American tennis time to rise and shine.

Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff are leaving opponents feeling the burn.

A day after the Americans joined forces for an Indian Wells doubles triumph, they lit up adjacent stadiums with successive singles wins riding wildly different paths into the BNP Paribas Open round of 16.

No. 3-seeded Pegula showed spirit and a knack for the timely strike fighting off Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a punishing and satisfying three hour, 17-minute victory on stadium 2.

On stadium 1, Gauff let her serve do the singing.

In a clash of 18-year-old talents, Gauff slashed seven aces, won 31 of 35 first-serve points and did not drop serve dismissing Linda Noskova 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes.

It was a personal milestone for Gauff—her last match as an 18 year-old—and she celebrated banging a barrage of serves off the back wall.

The sixth-seeded Gauff wasted little time in her serve games racking up her 28th straight win against opponents ranked outside of the Top 50.

“Definitely my serve today [was key],” Gauff, who turns 19 on Monday, told Andrew Krasny afterward. “I served really well, which I’m really happy because my first round it wasn’t my best serving and then doubles yesterday I was giving Jess a hard time because I wasn’t making any first serves.

“So I’m glad that I could transfer it today and I’m glad I had a doubles match to fix that. “

Both Pegula and Gauff credited their doubles win yesterday with prevailing on the singles court today. Pegula cited the added repetitions she gained on serve and return as helpful, while Gauff worked out the kinks of her serve on the doubles court and served with command today.

Playing from behind much of the match, Pegula saved nine of 13 break points and refused to wilt under third-set pressure. Pegula won a higher percentage of second serve points than first serve points and withstood a barrage of heavy forehands from Potapova, who went up 3-1 in the final set.

The 28th-seeded Potapova was three games from her third career Top 5-victory, but Pegula dug in with defiance and turned it around.

Permitting just three points in her final three service games, Pegula went up 6-5.

Potapova, who has risen more than 100 spots in the rankings over the past year, took this fight to the limit. Ultimately, an unrelenting Pegula’s willingness to attack in the final games and scrape out some tricky drives, as well as Potapova’s nine double faults helped the American cross the finish line with the final game break.

The pair shared a heart-felt hug at net in a show of mutual respect for a big battle.

“I think I started playing a little bit smarter getting a little bit more depth on my shots,” Pegula told Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj afterward. “Everything got a little bit better, but she came out playing really well and I was pretty frustrated.

“She’s a great player. I beat her easily last time I played her, but I remember first time I played her I had match points, saved match point came back and won so I knew she’s been playing great. She just won a WTA as well in Lyon so I just told her congrats and it was just a respectable battle today.”