Gauff explains importance of first win over Swiatek: “I didn’t want to be like Gael Monfils”

The American claimed her first win over the world No 1 in eight meetings

Coco Gauff Cincinnati SF win Zuma / Panoramic

Coco Gauff‘s victory over world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the semi-finals in Cincinnati on Saturday was a milestone for the young American as she ended her losing streak against the Pole at seven.

Her first win over the four-time Grand Slam champion also ensured that Gauff would not be the answer to a quiz question (one day) if she continued to have a zero against her name in meetings with Swiatek.

Speaking after her win on Saturday, the American admitted that her mind had wandered slightly to the fate of Gael Monfils, the Frenchman who lost to Novak Djokovic earlier in the week for the 19th time in 19 meetings.

“It feels good,” she said. “To be honest, I don’t know if I was thinking too far ahead. No offense to Gael, but I did not want that record, like the Novak and Gael record. I didn’t want that.

“I’m really trying to cut this (deficit) down as much as possible. So hopefully I can face her again and get the numbers up.”

Coco Gauff, Cincinnati 2023
Coco Gauff, Cincinnati 2023 – © Icon SMI / Panoramic

Gauff says win gives her huge confidence

Beating Swiatek for the first time not only put her through to the biggest final of her career to date, it also puts her in a great position heading into the US Open, which begins on August 28.

“It feels really good,” she said. “It wasn’t necessarily like her as a player. I think it was just the moment playing players like her. I think it gives me confidence that I have the ability. I mean, she’s a four-time Grand Slam champion, No. 1. It shows that I can be at that level or compete with that level at least.

“I’m sure I’m going to play her many more times. I’m not going to maybe win every time, but I think this win shows me that I have the possibility to do it. I still think I’m not even close to the peak of my game. I think there’s still a lot of kinks and things that I can improve, too.”

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