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Anastasia Potapova Topples Coco Gauff at Miami Open

Coco Gauff served for the match, but Anastasia Potapova won the final five games to send the Floridian packing. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

MIAMI—Serving for the match, Coco Gauff could see the finish line in front of her.

Anastasia Potapova imposed completely different vision.

The 27th-seeded Potapova delivered convincing closing kick winning the final five games to bounce Gauff out of this Miami Open 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-2.

It is Potapova’s third career Top 10 victory and comes after she crushed Marta Kostyuk 6-1, 6-3 in the second round.

This win sends Potapova into the round of 16 against No. 23-seeded Qinwen Zheng.

On a sunny and warm day, Zheng blasted 18 aces in 16 service games outlasting dangerous No. 12-seeded Liudmila Samsonova 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 on Butch Buchholz Family Court.  

Some fierce first-set rallies between Gauff and Potapova escalated in the opening set tiebreaker. Potapova saved set point at 5-6 when Gauff netted a return. Potapova held set points at 7-6 and again at 8-7 in the breaker, but Gauff withstood the stress. 

Pouncing on a net-cord shot that sat up, Gauff hammered a backhand winner crosscourt sending her family jumping out of their seats in support box after a grueling one hour, 11 minute opening set.

Miami fans shouted support chanting “Lets Go Coco! Let’s Go Coco” as the French Open finalist put herself in position for a straight-sets win, but Gauff stumbled when trying to close. 

Gauff served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but Potapova broke back and won the final four games of the set to force a final set.

Auckland champion Gauff created opportunities but did not convert them. Potapova saved 10 of 13 break points and Gauff committed 34 unforced errors in the match.

The heat rule was in effect so Gauff took a 10-minute break and return for the decider building a 2-1 lead.

It was all Potapova from there. Potapova was effective sometimes pushing Gauff into the backhand corner then rapping drives into the opposite corner making the speedy American defend her most suspect shot while on the run. 

In the end, Potapova’s five-game run to finish the Delray Beach baseliner’s run.