Coco Gauff hits out as handshake snub sparks ugly US Open crowd act

Boos rang out from the New York crowd in the wake of the ill-tempered US Open clash.

Seen here, Coco Gauff and Laura Siegemund share a frosty handshake after their US Open match.
Coco Gauff and Laura Siegemund shared a frosty handshake before the German snubbed shaking the chair umpire's hand. Pic: Getty/US Open

American Coco Gauff took a cheeky swipe at German rival Laura Siegemund after sealing a drama-charged three-set win in the first round of the US Open. The local favourite booked her place in the second round at Flushing Meadows after a come-from-behind victory that was punctuated by a 26-minute game in the second set and plenty of drama involving the chair umpire.

Siegemund waged a number of running battles with the chair umpire during the ill-tempered 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 defeat after complaining about how fast Gauff was going through her service games. The German also clashed with the official on more than one occasion after being warned about walking off to grab her towel between points.

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The German player had already flirted with time violations multiple times before the chair umpire issued a warning to her in the third set for constantly struggling with Gauff's pace on serve. Things took a dramatic turn in the third set when Gauff was up 3-0 but wasn't awarded a point after Siegemund complained she wasn't ready for a serve that ultimately flew right past her.

“She's never ready when I'm serving," Gauff protested to the chair umpire. "She went over to talk like four times.

"You gave her a time violation once. How is this fair? I don’t care what she’s doing on her serve. At my serve, she has to be ready.”

Coco Gauff is seen arguing with the chair umpire after constantly being made to wait by her opponent to serve at the US Open. Pic: Getty
Coco Gauff is seen arguing with the chair umpire after constantly being made to wait by her opponent to serve at the US Open. Pic: Getty

When play resumed, Gauff swiftly won the next point before staring down her opponent as the drama heated up. Things really came to a head a short time later when the American was serving for the game at 4-1 up, and Siegemund was hit with a point penalty for walking off to her towel.

The time violation saw Gauff go up 5-1 in the deciding set and sparked a furious reaction from Siegemund, who marched over to the chair umpire to protest her case. "I'm going in — I don't know how many points, I go one time to the towel," Siegemund said. "One time on her serve. On her service game, I never went to the towel.

"She's playing extremely fast, almost unreasonably fast, and I'm always there." Boos could be heard ringing out from the New York crowd before the German furiously asked: "So I can't go to the towel any more?"

Incredibly, the World No. 121 brushed off the drama to win the next three games and pull it back to 5-4 in the decider, before the American regained her composure. Gauff finally edged the absorbing contest when Siegemund sent a return into the net, sparking wild celebrations from the parochial home crowd.

German player booed after handshake snub

The pair then exchanged what was described by viewers as a "frosty" handshake at the net, with Siegemund still apparently seething about the earlier incidents with the chair umpire. The German then deliberately snubbed shaking the official's hand, sparking more boos from the crowd as she left the court.

Coco Gauff's cheeky moment after drama-charged match

Gauff remained on court to speak about her dramatic victory, with the American taking a subtle dig at Siegemund in her post-match interview. The World No.6 was asked to describe what it was like to play such a challenging match in the opening round of her home grand slam.

"Slow," Gauff said, before turning away from the camera to a chorus of laughter from the crowd. The American's remark was undoubtedly a reference to the pace of her German opponent throughout the match.

"It was a tough match," she continued. "I wasn't playing my best tennis. Laura, she's not an easy opponent. She fights to the end, and that's what she did today. I was able to overcome a lot of adversity. I'm happy with how I managed to get through."

Gauff advances to face 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva in the second round. The World No.63 came through a tricky three-set encounter against Olivia Gadecki, beating the Aussie 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in their opening round clash.

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