Coco Gauff, an American adolescent, will compete for one of tennis’ four most prestigious trophies Saturday at the French Open, less than three years after her first Grand Slam competition. Gauff, who turned 18 in March, became the youngest player to reach the final in Paris since Kim Clijsters in 2001, ending the unexpected run of unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan in Thursday’s semifinals. In the final, she will face World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who has a 34-match winning run.
Gauff defeated Trevisan 6-3, 6-1. Following a tense first six games in which the players swapped service breaks twice, Gauff won nine of the final ten games in the 68-minute triumph, snapping Trevisan’s 10-match winning run. Gauff won three straight games to close off the opening, winning 12 of the last 14 points. A long 15-minute fourth game in the second set also aided Gauff’s victory. In a seven-deuce service game, she denied Trevisan four chances to tie the game at 2-2 before breaking her. She later delivered triumph to love.
The American, who won the Roland-Garros girls’ tournament in 2018, burst onto the world tennis scene a year later as a 15-year-old with a stunning fourth-round performance at Wimbledon. She’s been steadily improving since then, reaching No. 15 in the WTA rankings and won two trophies on Linz’s indoor hardcourts and Parma’s clay courts. The No.18 seed Gauff hasn’t dropped a set in her six wins at this year’s event.
Gauff has come to terms with the notion that tennis is, after all, only a game. “I feel like I put myself in a bubble to the point where it was like tennis, tennis, tennis, tennis. And I realize, really talking to my family in general, my grandmother, she’s always like. There’s more to life than this. You just need to relax when you’re out there. Now I’m like, I can relax in these situations. It’s just a tennis match… Whatever happens, happens’. I think that’s probably helped me being in that mindset.” expressed Gauff.
The American hopes to become only the seventh player in history to win both the girls’ and women’s singles titles in Paris, but for that to happen she’ll have to end World No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 34-match winning streak on Saturday.