July 29, 2019 / 12:14 AM / 24 days ago

'Coco' makes Washington main draw, will face Diyas in first round

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 8, 2019 Cori Gauff of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Romania's Simona Halep REUTERS/Tony O'Brien

(Reuters) - Cori “Coco” Gauff on Sunday made it through to the main draw of the Citi Open in Washington, needing barely an hour to win her final qualifier.

She will play 84th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the first round in what will be Gauff’s third tournament appearance in the main draw.

Gauff, 15, last month became the youngest woman in the professional era to make the Wimbledon main draw.

She beat Venus Williams before losing in the fourth round to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Gauff had to get through two rounds of qualifying this weekend and she was barely troubled in either, beating American Maegan Manasse and then Japan’s Hiroko Kuwata in straight sets.

“These two matches I feel like will prep me for my first round, especially because I’ve never been to this tournament before,” Gauff said.

“I was glad that I was able to get a feel of how it is, the site, playing those two qualifying matches.

“The weather is similar to home (in Florida), so I felt like I’ve been practising at home. I’ll be happy playing on any court.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom

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