Gauff, who is ranked sixth at the Grand Slam tournament, dropped the first set to Spain’s Rebeka Masarova, but she didn’t let that worry her. The 19-year-old came back and dominated in the next two sets, winning 3–6, 6–1, 6–2 to advance to the second round.
After the match, Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim asked Gauff if the Heat’s Game 7 win on Monday night helped her persevere on Tuesday.
“Honestly, today I told myself if Jimmy Butler didn’t freak out when they were up 3–0 and then all of a sudden it was 3-all, then I shouldn’t freak out from losing the first set,” Gauff said.
As Gauff mentioned, the Heat dominated the first three games of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Celtics, but then lost the next three games to end up in a Game 7. Miami returned to form in the winner-take-all tilt on Monday night, cruising to a 103–84 victory to advance to the NBA Finals to face the Nuggets, beginning on Thursday.
Gauff will advance to play Austria’s Julia Grabher in the second round on Thursday.