Gauff gears up for biggest clay test against Brady


American teen sensation Coco Gauff will aim to reach the last-16 of the French Open for the first time in her fledgling career on Saturday when she takes on compatriot Jennifer Brady.

Gauff, 17, has excelled on the European claycourt swing over the last month, with a semi-final run at the Italian Open followed by only her second WTA title at Emilia-Romagna Open. The 24th seed improved her record for 2021 to 23-9 with her third round win.

Only world number one Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka and Veronika Kudermetova — all of them already out of the French Open this week — have won more matches this season.

Gauff, however, faces her first big test of the tournament in Brady, who made her breakthrough this season with a runner-up finish at the Australian Open.

In their only previous meeting, Brady beat Gauff 6-2 6-4 last August in the Lexington semi-final. In the day’s other all-American clash, last year’s finalist Sofia Kenin will take on 28th seed Jessica Pegula.

While the women’s draw has already lost its top three seeds, Iga Swiatek has looked comfortable in her role of defending champion, dropping just seven games in her opening two rounds.—AP

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