Injury ruined an otherwise intriguing contest here. The World number one retired in the second set leading 6-4 2-1 against the American. It was already a rain ravaged Friday in Rome and the match had already been interrupted in the first set. There were some brilliant moments to talk about in the match nonetheless. Watch 1-1 at the start of the match Gauff leading 30-15. A little slip by Ash during the rally put her off slightly although she recovers, but how about that majestic backhand slice drop shot to win the point by Coco. Coolness personified. Clay tends to be a nightmare when its wet especially when trying to slide to reach the ball. That was Coco’s break and she was looking good to win the first set. Barty isn’t the world number one for nothing though. She broke back immediately to make it 2-2 with some world class hitting of her own.
Already spotting a bandaged left thigh, Barty came back from the rain delay with a bandaged right arm. Symptomatic of a player who has played a lot of tennis this year. She didn’t show signs of it though watch the forehand down the line first point after coming back on court. Now watch Barty up 3-2 now on Coco’s serve with the American leading 30-15. The overhead smash miss from Coco was disappointing. She had no eyes on the ball but was more fixated on her opponent. Coco’s service was a shining example in this set conjuring up 6 Aces and winning 77% of her points on her first serve. Turning point of the set, Coco serving to stay in the set at 5-4. At 30-15 Barty showed her class. The Aussie punishes a slower serve using the backhand slice cum drop shot. At 2-1 up in the second, BARTY decided to call it a day,cut her losses and live to fight another day with Roland Garros approaching. Coco certainly didn’t want to win this way but hey that’s the nature of the beast.