Sunday, June 23, 2024

Francis Tiafoe and Coco Gauff Survive US Open Scares | PicsVideo

Coco puffs, Tiafoe huffs and curses at opponent's coach

*Flushing Meadows – The US Open pressure is real! First, we had our sweet little Coco Gauff reading the chair umpire her rights with a puffed-up chest the other night and now we have Mr. Congeniality, Francis Tiafoe, telling his opponent’s coach to “shut the f*** up!” in no uncertain terms as he fought for a critical point.

It’s a New York State of mind, I guess? 

Tiafoe and Gauff, our best remaining American contenders, are under intense pressure to take home US Open trophies. They both had to survive third-round three-set scares today, however.

Tiafoe was up against the tricky French brick wall, Adrian Manarino and Gauff was facing relentless Belgian counterpuncher, Elise Mertens. They both started slow and had to claw their way back after losing the first set. 

Frances Tiafoe reacts during a men's singles match at the 2023 US Open, Friday, Sep. 1, 2023, in Flushing, NY. (Mike Lawrence/USTA)
Frances Tiafoe reacts during a men’s singles match at the 2023 US Open, Friday, Sep. 1, 2023, in Flushing, NY. (Mike Lawrence/USTA)

Francis Tiafoe battled his way to the fourth round early Friday by taking out the 35-year-old Frenchman, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 7-6. There were plenty of trick shots and trades of breaks, but he ultimately stabilized his game and clenched the match in a nail-biting fourth-set tiebreaker.

“Yeah, I thought it was a good match. Honestly, even though I lost the first, I thought I was the better player. I played one loose game there, and kind of broke myself there at 1-All or 2-All, whatever the score was when I got broken. Then I had a ton of break points. I had break points right before I got broken. Just didn’t get it,” he said.

“But it gave me a lot of confidence there going into the rest of the match. I played a great second and third. He kind of lulled me to sleep a little bit there in the fourth”

“Happy to get through obviously. It’s another fourth round here, so it’s good.”

Tiafoe is the top-ranked American, world no. 10, and has slayed his fair share of giants of late. In fact, he made last year’s US Open semifinals but was ultimately edged out by the current world no. 1, Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard went on to hoist the trophy.

Coco Gauff reacts during a women's singles match at the 2023 US Open, Friday, Sep. 1, 2023 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)
Coco Gauff reacts during a women’s singles match at the 2023 US Open, Friday, Sep. 1, 2023 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

Coco’s scare turned into a tear. The 6th ranked, 6th US Open seed dropped the first set, seeming to not be able to find a game plan. It could’ve been the weight of the expectations – the consensus is she’s primed to win, but she struggled out of the gate. She could barely hold her serve. That wasn’t her first time at that rodeo, though; she was able to dig deep into her storage of guile and break the Mertens serve at just the right moment.

“Yeah, I mean, I was playing well in the second set. I think after the 2-3 game, yeah, I moved straight through. I think I established my game plan,” she said.

She then went on a complete tear and shut the door on the disoriented Belgian. Mertens didn’t win another game and Coco took the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

“In the third, I was playing great tennis … I was just trying to fight for every point. Yeah, that’s how I was able to get through that match.”

Coco and Tiafoe are known for their court-side manner, but New Yooooork *singing in the key of “Alicia”* is showing us a ruthless side of them that they just may need to get over the Grand Slam win hump. Let’s keep watching to see if that theory is correct. 

They play again, TODAY (09-03-23) … check your local listings. 

RELATED NEWS ON EURWEB: Coco Gauff Goes Off on Tennis Official for Biased Calls – Funky Dineva Apologizes to Chlöe Bailey | PicsVIDEOs

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