Monday, June 17, 2024

Coco Gauff Has Reached Her First US Open Semifinal | VIDEOs

The sports girl is becoming a sports woman before our eyes

Coco Gauff waves to the crowd following a women's singles quarterfinal match at the 2023 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)
Coco Gauff waves to the crowd following a women’s singles quarterfinal match at the 2023 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

*Flushing, New York – Coco Gauff has reached her first US Open semifinal. The 19-year-old WTA sensation is the second youngest to do so since Serena Williams in 1999. She played a blockbuster quarterfinal matchup with dangerous former French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, and decisively took her down, 6-0, 6-2. 

Ostapenko was coming in hot. She had just beat the breaks off world no. 1, Iga Swiatek, in the previous round. That could’ve been ominous given Iga had long had Coco in a chokehold with seven wins on the trot. But the young world no. 6 finally overcame the Pole in Cincinnati the week before the open in a tight three-setter.

That was just the fuel Gauff needed to strengthen her confidence and chances of conquering New York. 

Coco apparently did her homework (with the help of her new coach, Brad Gilbert the “master scout”) because she came out of the gate on fire. She was relentless with her ball striking, and given that Ostapenko is known as a “winner machine,” her defensive skills were on point. Balls that would’ve gotten past her didn’t and In just under 18 mins, she had the former Grand Slam champion down 5-0. 

The young American then easily held serve and found herself with the first set in the bag, 6-0 … a bagel … with Ostapenko looking to her box in bewilderment. She came in favored to win, but who would’ve thought …?

 

This is a Grand Slam quarterfinal.  You have the reputation of American tennis and lofty expectations from fans on your shoulders – much like Serena Williams’ career. This woman, Ostapenko, has achieved something that you have not (Grand Slam win). Why, little Coco, are you not nervous and unhinged? 

It’s because she’s not “little Coco” anymore. 

Coco has already “fit the battle of Jericho” a few times this US Open, coming through three-set thrillers each round. She has had to assert herself with chair umpires. She’s had to tell her player’s box of well-respected tennis professionals to “just stop talking,” something the little girl wouldn’t have had the gall to do … but a woman would. 

Looks like overcoming this year’s challenges, coupled with previous setbacks and lessons learned, have given rise to Coco the WOMAN.

Coco Gauff in action during a women's singles quarterfinal match at the 2023 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)
Coco Gauff in action during a women’s singles quarterfinal match at the 2023 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

Ostapenko lost the first set to this woman and left the court to reset.

At the start of the second set, Ostapenko was up to serve. Was the reset successful? The quirky Latvian did manage a winner or two, but Coco was pumped with the momentum still on her side. She went to her toolbox, found a nice little slice here and a drop shot there, and broke the Latvian for 1-0. 

Coco wasn’t able to consolidate, though, and was broken back for 1-all in the second. 

To break once and consolidate is human, but to fail to consolidate, lose ye break, BUT break again to maintain your lead is divine! The American hopeful was dialed in and not to be beset by a stumble. 

Coco is now up 3-1. 

To let up at that point would’ve been a mistake, though. Ostapenko has a history of getting hot and becoming a human ball machine on full speed. She looked to be revving up and held for 2-3. 

The ball is now on Coco’s racquet, the crowd boisterously behind her to hold serve. 

First serves deserted Coco a bit as she moved closer to her first semifinal at the US Open. Her percentage dropped to just 37%. She’s was hanging on to that 6th and important game only by a thread, but she summoned her inner contortionist. She fended off Ostapenko’s blazing returns by reaching here, twisting there, and got the hold for 4-2. 

She followed that up with an insurance break of the Ostapenko serve for 5-2 and ended the next game, set and the match with a forehand winner and a mighty roar. It was a good day at the office. 

It’s great to see Coco come into her own and reach her first US Open semifinal. She advances to play either Karolina Muchova (CZE) or Sorana Cirstea (ROU). She has a winning record over both. 

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Francis Tiafoe and Coco Gauff Survive US Open Scares | PicsVideo

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