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Coco Gauff has overcome Marketa Vondrousova in a spiteful clash to reach the second round in Dubai on Tuesday.
Contesting a seventh-consecutive three-set match, Gauff needed two hours to dismiss the Czech 12th seed 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 to set up a third-round meeting with qualifier Tereza Martincova.
The match threatened to turn ugly when 16-year-old Gauff complained to the umpire about how Vondrousova was catching her ball toss with her racquet.
Gauff was of the belief that Vondrousova should have been letting it bounce or catching it with her hand, claiming her opponent was breaking the rules.
The incident sparked some ugly tension as the match went on.
There was no apology from Gauff when she aimed a drive volley directly at Vondrousova's body, and the Czech also forewent the courtesy apology when she claimed a point via a lucky net cord.
"My personality, I fight fire with fire," said Gauff after the match.
"I lost those two points that game, and she had wild screams, and I like to scream, so I screamed back."
Gauff, who is ranked 38, turns 17 on Saturday, the day of the Dubai final and is keen to celebrate in style.
"That's definitely a big motivation," said the Florida-based Gauff.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) March 9, 2021
The way Gauff behaves it won't be surprising against anyone. Most annoying player on tour.
— wtaaddict (@wtaaddict) March 9, 2021
Gauff has to be careful, because the constant "CMONNNNNNs" after opponents' easy UEs are already getting players' nerves.
Can be motivating.
Vondrousova not exactly a hothead type, is she?
(Probably a copyright violation on that video - but that's Amazon's prob) https://t.co/5IV1thoviC
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) March 9, 2021
Nonsense fro Gauff
— Dowson&Downey (@mikicmikic7799) March 9, 2021
Svitolina crashes out as Kvitova retires hurt
Meanwhile, the top-seeded Elina Svitolina suffered a "disappointing" 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 defeat to Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova was then forced to retire through injury from her evening clash with Jil Teichmann.
Kuznetsova rallied back from a set and an early break down to knock out the two-time champion and record her 21st match-win in Dubai - the highest tally among active WTA players.
The 35-year-old Russian is a three-time runner-up in the UAE showpiece and next has a last-16 showdown with Barbora Krejcikova, who ousted former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko.
"Obviously the loss is very tough because I think I started the match quite good and I was feeling good going into the tournament and I really love to play here in Dubai. The result is really disappointing," said the fifth-ranked Svitolina.
In an all-lefty night-session affair, Swiss debutante Teichmann secured passage to the third round when Kvitova was forced to withdraw midway through the second set.
A champion in Doha three days ago, Kvitova dropped the opening set 6-2 after receiving treatment for a right inner thigh injury.
The 2013 Dubai winner led Teichmann 4-1 in the second set but Kvitova lost her break advantage and had to end the match two games later.
"Unfortunately since my semi-final in Doha I felt my adductor, with abdominal, and it didn't get any better, and in the second set it just got a little bit worse and I felt pain almost everywhere on that right leg, so unfortunately I couldn't really move how I wanted," explained Kvitova after the match.
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