Coco Gauff at centre of ugly umpire controversy at French Open

·4-min read
Coco Gauff, pictured here receiving a warning for coaching in the first round at the French Open.
Coco Gauff received a warning for coaching in the first round at the French Open. Image: Amazon Prime

Coco Gauff was at the centre of controversial scenes at the French Open on Sunday after she was hit with a warning for receiving coaching from her father.

The American teenager served 10 double-faults, faced 12 break points and was warned by the chair umpire but managed to prevail 7-5, 6-0 over Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.

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Midway through the second set she was warned by umpire Marijana Veljovic, who thought Gauff was receiving coaching from the stands from her dad.

Gauff wasn't impressed by the call and took it up with Valjovic at the change of ends.

“We don’t have any signals, so I don’t know what you want me to tell him," Gauff said.

"I’m not receiving coaching, so I don’t know what you want me to do."

Veljovic responded by saying: “We’ll talk about it later.”

Gauff also said: “Literally every match since I was eight years old [I tell him] don’t talk to me in the match.

"I know you’re not accusing me of anything. I’m just letting you know that it’s the first time a ref has said this to me."

Ons Jabeur and Garbine Muguruza in early exits

Elsehwhere, Ons Jabeur became the first shock casualty on the opening day of the French Open, with the in-form Tunisian crashing out 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 against Poland's Magda Linette.

Jabeur was swiftly followed out of Roland Garros by two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza, with the 2016 champion falling at the first hurdle for the second year in succession.

Muguruza was defeated 2-6 6-3 6-4 by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia - the oldest player in the women's draw.

Gauff, Maria Sakkari, Belinda Bencic and Sloane Stephens were all among the big names to progress.

Jabeur, seen as one of the big threats to World No.1 Iga Swiatek, came to Paris at a career-high ranking and with a tour-leading 17 wins on the surface.

With her win at the Madrid Open and runner-up finishes in Rome and Charleston, it seemed Jabeur would have an easy outing against World No.52 Linette.

Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur, pictured here crashing out of the French Open.
Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur crashed out of the French Open. Image: Getty

The 27-year-old sixth seed breezed through the opening set in 37 minutes, but Linette staged an inspired fightback in the second, saving four break points to level before winning the decider.

"It's difficult to take that one in," Jabeur said.

"But that's what sport is like and you need to be smart enough to move forward and get back on court. So maybe it was a good thing to lose today.

"I would rather say this and be really tough with myself than waste all the good energy that I got from Madrid and Rome."

Muguruza said of her disappointing form: "It's been a tough season. I've had matches so much in control, but then I don't manage to close and it gets complicated.

"But I feel that I'm training hard, I'm putting the work.

"At some point I'm a 100 per cent sure that I'm going to go out there and get those wins that have been slipping away from me."

with AAP

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