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Gauff beats Trevisan at Roland-Garros to reach first Grand Slam final

Cori Gauff won against Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in semi-final

Cori Gauff, Roland-Garros 2022 Cori Gauff, Roland-Garros 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Three years after announcing herself to the world as a 15-year-old at Wimbledon — and only a few days after graduating from high school — Coco Gauff has reached her first Grand Slam final at Roland-Garros

A difficult start for Gauff and Martina Trevisan — not surprising given they were contesting a maiden Grand Slam semi-final — gave way to the former taking over in the second set. 

Gauff, seeded 18th to match her age, advanced in sunny skies in Paris 6-3, 6-1 in just under an hour-and-a-half. 

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff of the U.S. celebrates winning her fourth round match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Swiatek – Gauff, expected final !

This after dominant world No. 1 Iga Swiatek needed less time, 66 minutes, to dispatch another first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, Daria Kasatkina, 6-2, 6-1, to increase her winning streak to an incredible 34. 

“I think I’m a little bit in shock right now,” Gauff said in her on-court interview with the 2002 semi-finalist, Alex Corretja. “I didn’t know how to react after I won the match. I have no words to describe how I feel.” 

The American is the youngest women’s Grand Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 aged 17. 

I wasn’t nervious going in today

Coco Gauff

Sharapova would later bag two Roland-Garros titles — after describing herself as a “cow on ice” moving on clay — but Gauff seems to be more at ease on the terre battue.  After all, she won the junior title in Paris in 2018 and she often mentions her early practices at the Mouratoglou Academy on the European clay to explain how good she is on the dirt.

Gauff hasn’t dropped a set this fortnight, and it didn’t look likely against the Italian, despite five breaks in the first. Those breaks, and umpire Marijana Veljovic checking numerous marks, punctuated the opener. 

Her hold for 5-3 in the first set her on the way. 

Key game in second set

The knockout blow came when Gauff broke in a 10-minute game for 3-1 in the second. 

Trevisan — given the name ‘Martina’ by her mom, referencing tennis legend Martina Navratilova — entered the clash on a 10-match winning streak, which included winning her first title in Rabat. 

The exertions of the last few weeks may have taken a toll on the left-hander, as she sought a medical timeout for a leg issue ahead of the second set. 

Gauff vowed to correct the double fault tally she amassed against Trevisan in a 2020 loss at Roland-Garros, 19, and did so, striking only two on Thursday. 

In the second set, Gauff, an all-arounder like the 59th-ranked Trevisan, compiled a tidy 10 winners and five unforced errors. 

“I wasn’t nervious going in today,” said Gauff. “I haven’t been nervous all week, which is a surprise. I think the only time I get a bit nervous is in the morning. 

“I go for a walk in the morning and so it kind of clears my head. And then after that, I feel great.”

There are so many things going on in the world now…

Coco Gauff

She speaks with a maturity beyond her years, providing another example when asked about the final on Saturday. 

“Yeah it’s a Grand Slam final but there are so many things going on in the world now, especially in the US, a lot of stuff is happening now,” she said, perhaps referring to the situation in Ukraine and recent shootings in the US. “So I think it’s not important to stress over a tennis match.”

Gauff has mirrored Swiatek by making the semi-finals in doubles at Roland-Garros and final in singles. 

Swiatek opened her Grand Slam account in Paris two years ago, landing in the doubles semis, too. 

Gauff trails Swiatek 2-0 in their head-to-heads, though their outing on clay in Rome last year, 7-6 (3), 6-3, was closer than the 6-3, 6-1 outcome in Miami in March. 

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