Siegemund and Gauff Serve Time Controversy at the US Open | Explained

Laura Siegemund Coco Gauff serve time controversy US Open

The first round of the women’s singles in the US Open was off to a fiery start, to say the least. While the prestigious Grand Slam tournament is home to some great tennis, it’s not without its fair share of controversies, especially between its players. The latest in that list is Coco Gauff and Laura Siegemund as a serve time controversy overshadowed their skills and left fans buzzing. Let’s take a closer look at Siegemund and Gauff’s serve time controversy at the US Open and understand what happened. 

US Open serve time controversy explained

Fans expected a generation-crossing Djokovic vs Alcaraz type clash between the 35-year-old Laura Siegemund and the 19-year-old Coco Gauff. Little did they know about the serve time controversy that the US Open match had in store for them. 

It started with Siegemund trying to push the boundaries of how long she would take between serves. The German often waited till the serve clock went down to zero and tried to use it to her advantage. A frustrated Coco Gauff reported this to the match umpire.  

In tennis, players have to start their next serve promptly after a point ends. The serve time rule prevents delays and maintains the match’s pace. Violating the rule leads to penalties like losing points. However, some use it as a strategic move.

Initially, the American teenager did not seem to mind her German opponent’s stalling tactic. However, her delays began affecting Gauff’s rhythm and play. In fact, Gauff lost a crucial point which triggered her to confront the umpire Marijana Veljović and complain.

Coco Gauff questioned why Laura Siegemund had gone over the clock four times and received only a one-time violation. The serve time controversy also led to fans booing Siegemund’s progress and cheering whenever she lost a point. 

Coco Gauff vs Laura Siegemund: Who won?

While Coco Gauff lost the first set 3-6, she pulled off a comeback against Laura Siegemund winning the next two sets 6-2 and 6-4. The American teenager powered through her opponent’s time delay tactics and progressed to the second round of the US Open. 

Siegemund had the first half of the match in her hand. The dynamic shifted during a marathon opening game of the second set that lasted over 26 minutes. The serve time controversy also had a significant impact on the game’s outcome.

In the post-match interview, Laura Siegemund said she was disappointed with the crowd’s behavior at the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows. She claimed that she had a slow pace due to her age and that she did not employ any tactics.

On the other hand, Coco Gauff remained calm and composed just like she did during the match she had just won. She even explained her intention behind speaking up to the umpire and how she wanted to avoid unnecessary conflicts and be respectful.

Interestingly, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama met Coco Gauff after the match and appreciated her for her on-court behavior.

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