It was plain-sailing for Coco Gauff on Friday at the Australian Open, as the 19-year-old No. 4 seed turned in an impressive performance to oust her American compatriot and childhood friend Alycia Parks. Gauff secured a first-set bagel – her second of the tournament so far – before easing through in straights in just over an hour. Stream and watch the Australian Open on Eurosport and discovery+.

Coco Gauff breezed into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a comprehensive straight-sets win over American compatriot Alycia Parks, and declared afterwards she was “really happy” with how she had dealt with the test.

Gauff and Parks have known each other since childhood, adding an extra dynamic to the encounter, but the fourth seed coped admirably with the demands of facing Parks’ big serve, securing victory for the loss of just two games, 6-0 6-2.

Gauff, fresh from winning the sport’s most recent major at the US Open, seems to be playing with extra vim and revealed how she is using her time off court in a city that she says is feeling like home to her.

“We’ve been doing mini-golf, escape rooms, eating a lot and just watching the tennis,” she said on court following her victory.

“I always enjoy Melbourne, it reminds me of Florida a little bit with the weather, and obviously the crowds here are very nice.”

Reflecting on her display, she added: “I’m really happy with how I played today.

“The scoreline says different, she’s a tough player, she hits the ball big. I’ve known her since her I was nine or eight years old, probably even younger than that.

“[It was] our first time ever playing, juniors or pros, so hopefully we can have many more matches in the future.”

Responding to what she did well on court, Gauff continued: “Definitely return of serve.

“It’s tough because she’s a big server, so you’re not going to be able to strike as much as you want to, so I think I did a good job with that.

“Also, mixing the height and the pace of the ball, she’s a big hitter, she likes it fast so I was just trying my best to be aggressive when I could, but also playing with margin.”

Gauff got on the board straightaway on Margaret Court Arena, breaking Parks at the first attempt and then cruising thereafter to an ominous bagel opener.

Parks fought back at the start of the second as the pair moved to 2-2, but Gauff then put down the accelerator once more to take the next four games unanswered and book a place in the last 16.

Next for the 19-year-old is a meeting with Poland’s Magdalena Frech, who came back to beat Anastasia Zakharova in three sets.

Source: Eurosport

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