US Open champion Coco Gauff beat Elina Svitolina to win the Auckland Classic on Sunday, while Elena Rybakina downed Aryna Sabalenka on Sunday at the Brisbane International final.

The 19-year-old Gauff retained her 2023 title as she put the finishing touches to her preparations for the Australian Open.

Gauff, who beat Emma Navarro in her semi-final, carried on her good form from last year, when she won the US Open in New York, and will hope to add a second career Grand Slam in Australia.

Gauff had to come back from losing the first set, but rallied to win 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 against her experienced opponent.

“This is my first time ever having to defend a title, so I’m really happy I was able to do it today,” said Gauff after the win, the seventh WTA singles trophy of her career.

She continued: “Last year it rained almost every single match and we were playing indoors with just a few people watching so it’s really cool to play in front of a packed crowd almost every match.

“I don’t know if I was expecting this result, but I’m really happy with how I managed to play today.

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“I think today level-wise was definitely not my best match or best level this week, but sometimes when you win when you’re not playing your best, it makes you feel more satisfied.”

Rybakina takes down Sabalenka:

In Brisbane, world No. 4 Rybakina won her sixth title, as she opened her 2024 campaign with a final victory over Belarusian world No. 2 Sabalenka.

She won by a convincing 6-0 6-3 margin, bringing to an end Sabalenka’s run of 15 wins in Australia, which saw her take the Australian Open, where she beat Rybakina in the final.

“Despite the score, it’s always tough to play against you.

“We always push each other and I think that’s great. We improve this way, so hopefully we continue,” Rybakina said after her win.

The Australian Open itself starts on Sunday, January 14.