(Auckland) American Coco Gauff continued her title defense in Auckland by defeating Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva 6-1, 6-1 on Friday to reach the semi-final against her compatriot Emma Navarro.

In the other part of the table, the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (25th), seed number 2, also easily beat the Czech Marie Bouzkova (36th) 6-0, 6-3.

Gauff, world No.3 and 2023 US Open champion, victorious in Auckland last year without losing a single set, is on track to repeat this performance.

The 19-year-old, seeded N.1, only needed 52 minutes to defeat Gracheva, world number 42, in a new display full of promise ahead of the Australian Open.

She will play in the half against another American, Emma Navarro (31st in the world), who beat the Croatian Petra Martic (41st) 6-4, 6-3.

In the other half, Svitolina will face the Chinese Wang Xiyu (71st), who dismissed another Frenchwoman, Diane Parry (76th) 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-4.