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Coco Gauff and Marta Kostyuk drama leaves fans baffled at Australian Open

The quarter-final clash was a rollercoaster from start to finish.

Coco Gauff (pictured left) and Marta Kostyuk (pictured right) have produced one of the strangest quarter-final clashes at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)
Coco Gauff (pictured left) and Marta Kostyuk (pictured right) have produced one of the strangest quarter-final clashes at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

Coco Gauff and Marta Kostyuk have produced one of the strangest quarter-final clashes in recent history at the Australian Open with more than 100 unforced errors across the three setts. Gauff went into the clash against the Ukrainian as the heavy favourite, but found herself playing well below her lofty standards in 30C heat as she faced a 5-1 deficit in the first set.

However, in remarkable scenes, Gauff stormed back as Kostyuk's game fell apart. The duo were then locked at 6-6 with Gauff having won five out of six games to leave the Ukrainian stunned. Kostyuk then called a timeout before the tiebreak, which saw her have tape placed around her blisters on her foot.

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The break didn't help break up Gauff's momentum with the 21-year-old taking the tiebreak and turning around what appeared to be a foregone set. While Gauff's comeback was incredible, the numbers in the set didn't look pretty. At one point, Gauff had hit three winners and 19 unforced errors.

Kostyuk had hit 10 winners, but also added 18 unforced errors in the first set. Spectators were invited to a close and rollercoaster battle, but the standard of the first set of the quarter-final had many baffled.

Incredibly, Kostyuk was the one to turn the deficit around in the second after she was 3-5 down, only to go on and win the set in a tiebreak. And while the matched was poised evenly heading into the decider, there was another twist to come. Kostyuk completely fell apart, while Gauff lifted her level to blast aside her opponent and win 6-7, 7-6, 6-1.

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Fans reacted with astonishment to the match, which showcased the very best of the two stars. However, both players finished with more than 50 unforced errors each and fans reacted to the bizarre scenes on Rod Laver Arena. While the heat could have been a contributing factor to the brutal match, Gauff joked she was from South Florida and is accustomed to warm days.

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Gauff has been in remarkable form to start the year having moved to 10-0. The American was imperious at the ASB Classic, which she won against Elina Svitolina in the final.

The World No.3 ended her grand slam wait having won the US Open at the end of last year and has entered the Australian Open in the same form that could see her lift the trophy.

Coco Gauff celebrates.
Coco Gauff (pictured) has moved on to the semi-final of the Australian Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images) (Robert Prange via Getty Images)

"I'm happy, really proud of the fight that I showed today," Gauff said during her on-court interview. "Marta is a tough opponent. Every time we play, it's a tough match and I really fought and left it all on the court today."

Gauff has now progressed to a semi-final on Thursday against either defending champion Aryna Sabalenka or Czech No.9 seed Barbora Krejcikova. With Iga Swiatek out of the draw on the other side, a winner is expected to come from Gauff's side with the World No.2 and World No.3 eyeing their second grand slam titles.

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