Tennis world in disbelief over 'terrible' scenes in Dubai: 'Hard to watch'

The bizarre spectacle between Coco Gauff and Madison Kets proved difficult viewing for tennis fans.

Coco Gauff, pictured here after winning an error-strewn tennis quarter-final against Madison Keys.
Coco Gauff (R) won an error-strewn tennis quarter-final against Madison Keys in Dubai in which both players combined for a staggering 82 unforced errors. Pic: Getty

Tennis fans have taken to social media in disbelief after Coco Gauff's bizarre quarter-final victory over Madison Keys in the Dubai Tennis Championships. Gauff set up a semi-final showdown with the all-conquering World No.1 Iga Swiatek after defeating her compatriot Keys 6-2 7-5.

However, Gauff's win perhaps owed more to the fact that Keys was guilty of a staggering 51 unforced errors over the two sets. Gauff wasn't much better though, with the 18-year-old also responsible for 31 unforced errors, bringing the grand total for the two-set contest to a whopping 82.

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A shaky start from Keys enabled Gauff to dominate the first set but the World No.23 challenged strongly in the second and was leading at 5-4, before one shaky game proved her undoing. It allowed teen sensation Gauff to pull away, with Keys fittingly handing the victory to her fellow American with her 51st and final unforced error on match point.

Gauff knew she had to be much sharper in the semi-final against Swiatek, who stormed into the last four having dropped just eight games in 10 sets of tennis. That stretch included the Pole's title triumph at the Qatar Open last week.

Unfortunately for Gauff she was found out by the red-hot Swiatek on Friday, with the World No.1 keeping up her unbeaten record against the American teenager with a 6-4 6-2 win. The three-time grand slam champion is now 6-0 against the 18-year-old Gauff, with each of those victories coming in straight sets (including the 2022 French Open final).

"One more to go. Will put all my heart into it," Swiatek tweeted ahead of Saturday's final against Barbora Krejcikova - the 2021 French Open champion.

Coco Gauff, pictured here after beating Madison Keys in a match littered with errors.
Coco Gauff beat Madison Keys in a match littered with errors. Image: Getty

Last week, Swiatek became the first woman in 98 years to win a tournament after dropping just five games. She came into the semi-final against Gauff having thrashed Leylah Fernandez 6-1 6-1, then Liudmila Samsonova 6-1 6-0, before being handed a walkover from Karolina Pliskova into the last four.

The World No.1's scary form proved too much for Gauff, who despite beating Keys looked far from convincing. The error-strewn quarter-final certainly proved difficult for viewers to watch, with many describing it as a "terrible" spectacle to sit through.

Coco Gauff no match for Iga Swiatek's dominance

Gauff's semi-final showdown with Swiatek was the sixth time the pair have met, including in last year's French Open final. The American teen is yet to take a set off the Polish superstar.

Krejcikova earlier snapped World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka's unbeaten start to the year with an upset 0-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 victory. Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, was on a 13-match winning streak and led 3-1 in the second set before Krejcikova's comeback.

Seen here, Barbora Krejcikova celebrates after beating Aryna Sabalenka in Dubai.
Barbora Krejcikova snapped Australian Open champ Aryna Sabalenka's unbeaten start to 2023. Pic: Getty

Krejcikova then beat American star Jessica Pegula in the other semi-final - 6-1 5-7 6-0. World No.3 Pegula advanced to the semi after a walkover from Karolina Muchova, who withdrew because of an abdominal injury.

In Saturday's final, Krejcikova became just the fifth player in WTA history to beat the three top-ranked players in the world at one tournament, taking down Swiatek 6-4 6-2 in the decider. "It means a lot," Krejcikova said after winning her sixth WTA title.

"It was a great week and I was improving in every game. Today, I showed my best tennis. Iga motivates me every day, it was a great final and I'm definitely happy with the result."

with agencies

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