Gauff 'fuelled' by umpire row to advance in Dubai

tennis22 February 2024 05:46| © Reuters
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Coco Gauff © Gallo Images

Coco Gauff said a heated exchange with the chair umpire midway through her match with Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday had spurred her on to complete a 2-6 6-4 6-3 victory and reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The US Open champion lost the first set but was leading 4-2 in the second when her first serve at deuce, which Pliskova returned into the net, was called out.

The American challenged the call and her review was successful but instead of awarding Gauff the point French chair umpire Pierre Bacchi told the 19-year-old to replay it.

That sparked a lengthy back-and-forth between the pair, with Guaff's repeated requests to speak to a supervisor denied by the umpire.

"It definitely gave me some adrenaline," said Gauff, who eventually composed herself and won the replayed point. "Luckily I was able to overcome that pretty quickly. I'm glad I was able to reset.

"I think it just fuelled me," she added.

"It's just one point. It happens in tennis. Players make mistakes, everybody makes mistakes.

"I was trying to tell myself to stay calm the next point. Sometimes I get angry and I go for too much. I was trying to let that not be the turning point for the set.

"Maybe I dragged it out a little longer than I needed to, but I did what I felt was best in that moment."

Third seed Gauff faces Anna Kalinskaya later on Thursday for a place in the semifinals.