Tennis

Coco Gauff, 15, off to flying start to new year

Teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff started the new year in dominant form at the WTA Auckland Classic yesterday.

Gauff, 15, was unflustered by two double-faults in her opening service game against last year's semi-finalist Viktoria Kuzmova.

She recovered to hold serve and then immediately broke Kuzmova on her way to taking the first set 6-3, before racing through the second set 6-1 to wrap up the match in 61 minutes.

Serena Williams, who had won six of her 23 Grand Slams before Gauff was born, is drawn to meet the prodigy in the quarter-finals.

Williams, 38, was to play another Grand Slam winner, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in the first round, but the Russian pulled out with a viral illness.

Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, was also a late cancellation. - AFP

Tennis