ASB Classic: Top seed Coco Gauff beats German veteran, weather to advance at Auckland

American Coco Gauff has lived up to her ASB Classic favouritism, dispatching German veteran Tatjana Maria in the opening round at Auckland.

Dodging persistent rain delays, the teenage top seed needed almost three hours - only half of them actually oncourt - to overcome a rival almost twice her age 6-4 6-1.

"Super happy with my first win of the season," said Gauff. "Honestly, [the rain] wasn't tough, because I was expecting it to happen.

Viktoria Kuzmova in action at the ASB Classic
Emma Raducanu in action at the ASB Classic. Photo credit: Photosport

"I'm from Florida, so I'm used to the stop-start-stop-start. It's the tropical weather." 

Gauff, 18, rocketed out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set, breaking serve twice, and Maria responded in kind to level at 4-4, before a second rain delay broke her momentum.

Upon resumption, the young American quickly wrapped up the set and raced to a 5-0 advantage in the second, eventually allowing her opponent a consolation game to save face.

The result earns her a second-round encounter with either Xinyu Wang of China or American Sofia Kenin, rescheduled to play their first-round match on Wednesday morning.

The draw lost another contender early, when American fourth seed Bernarda Perra could not stave off Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova in a match suspended from the previous night.

Kiwi qualifier Erin Routliffe put up a strong performance against 91st-ranked Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse, eventually succumbing in three sets, but the hardy crowd found plenty to cheer about, with unseeded US Open champion Emma Raducanu rallying from a set down to dispatch Czech teen Linda Fruhvirtova in another rain-affected match.

"Honestly, it's about four hours later," she said. "I've lost track of what time it is.

"Thanks to everyone for sticking through the rain with us."

Other seeds weren't so lucky. The weather has forced American Sloane Stephens (2), Chinese Wang (5) and Montenegran Danka Kovinic (7) to wait a third day to complete their opening matches at the tournament.  

The order of play for Wednesday is:

Stadium Court

10am start

Wang (China) v Kenin (USA)

Grabher (Austria) v 3-Fernandez (Canada)

Williams (USA) v Zhu (China)

Not before 7pm

Kuzmova (Slovak Republic) v Raducanu (UK)

Chan (Chinese Taipei)/Guarachi (Chile) v Gamarra Martins (Brazil)/Neel (USA)

Grandstand Court

10am start

Zidansek (Slovenia) v Davis (USA)

Hibino (Japan) v 7-Kovinic (Montenegro)

8-Marino (Canada) v Bonaventure (Belgium)

Court One

Noon start

3-Kato (Japan)/Sutjiadi (Indonesia) v TBD

Fernandez (Canada)/Mattek-Sands (USA) v Blosova (Spain)/Masarova (Spain)

Wang (China)/Zhu (China) v 2-Hozumi (Japan)/Zidansek (Slovenia)


Join us at 10am Wednesday for live updates of the ASB Classic third day