In the French Open semifinals, Coco Gauff will face defending champion Iga Swiatek

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Coco Gauff plays the shot against Ons Jabeur

Coco Gauff had a busy and successful day at Roland Garros on Tuesday. She started early in the morning around 8:15 a.m. with a warm-up session, followed by some meals and two matches.

She managed to win both matches, first securing a spot in the singles semifinals and then advancing to the doubles quarterfinals. By the time her day wrapped up, it was a little past 4:30 p.m.

“It goes by really fast, I will say,” said the 20-year-old American. “When you’re playing the match, it just goes by really fast.”

There’s still more work ahead for Gauff, who will face defending champion and top-ranked player Iga Swiatek in the singles on Thursday.

“It’s good to just keep going and not think about this match as something huge — just another match — to not put too much baggage on your shoulders,” said Swiatek. “But I guess Coco is not easy. She really likes playing on clay, especially here. I’ll just focus on myself and I’ll prepare tactically and we’ll see.”

Swiatek continued her dominant run with another convincing win, defeating Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2. She extended her winning streak at the French Open to 19 matches as she aims for her third consecutive title in Paris and her fourth in five years.

Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning the quarterfinal match

“She’s, I feel like, way better than anyone else on clay, and especially here. It’s very tough,” Vondrousova said. “I feel like on the court, you have nothing to maybe offer. She’s just too strong here.”

Meanwhile, Gauff made a comeback to defeat three-time major finalist Ons Jabeur 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, securing a spot in the semifinals at a third consecutive Grand Slam tournament.

“I’ve been trying to do better at being consistent in the big tournaments,” Gauff said, “and I’m reaching that level of consistency.”

She clinched her first big win at the U.S. Open in September, then reached the semifinals at the Australian Open in January. Gauff came in second to Swiatek at the French Open in 2022.

In general, Swiatek has won 10 out of 11 matches against Gauff, including a 6-4, 6-3 victory in the semifinals on clay last month during the Italian Open.

“I definitely think I have to find a better way to play her than the last times I played on clay, because I’ve obviously been unsuccessful the last couple of times we’ve played — regardless of the surface and anything,” Gauff said. “She’s definitely a tough opponent for me. And for anybody.”


Coco Gauff returns the ball in the quareterfinal match

The main news of the day was that defending champion Novak Djokovic pulled out of the men’s tournament due to a torn meniscus in his right knee. Jannik Sinner will take his place as No. 1 in the ATP rankings next week.

Casper Ruud, who came in second in Paris for the last two years, received a bye into the semifinals, where he will face either Alexander Zverev or Alex de Minaur. Sinner defeated Grigor Dimitrov on Tuesday and will face Carlos Alcaraz or Stefanos Tsitsipas next.

Apart from a tough three-set win over Naomi Osaka in the second round, Swiatek has been dominant in this French Open. If you exclude the 17 games Osaka won, Swiatek has only lost a total of 11 games in her other four matches.

After her 6-0, 6-0 victory over Anastasia Potapova in the fourth round, Swiatek started strong by winning the first seven games against Vondrousova.

“I felt,” Swiatek said, “like I was in the zone.”

And don’t underestimate Vondrousova. Besides being a Grand Slam winner, she was a finalist at Roland Garros in 2019, won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and is currently ranked No. 6.

However, she didn’t have a chance against Swiatek, who hit 25 winners and made only 10 mistakes. Swiatek, a 23-year-old from Poland, faced just one chance for her opponent to break her serve — and, of course, she stopped it.

“Everything went well,” Swiatek said.

Against the eighth-seeded Jabeur, Gauff took control to lead 5-2 in the final set, but then needed three chances to close out the match, admitting afterward that she felt a bit nervous.

Iga Swiatek clenches her fists after winning the match

In the last game, Gauff had to save a break point, and then Jabeur saved one match point with a clever drop shot that got cheers from the crowd. The 29-year-old Tunisian responded by putting her right index finger to her ear.

But on Gauff’s next chance to win, Jabeur missed an overhead shot badly. Gauff smiled, then raised her arms and shouted.

“My favorite thing about Coco is her determination. I think she’s playing really well right now, but I’ve seen her play even better before,” Jabeur said. “Obviously, she’s a fighter. She always looks for ways to win. She’s really smart on the court.”

Even though the crowd in the main stadium often cheered for Jabeur, Gauff didn’t play poorly in the first set. But Jabeur played excellently, winning 17 out of 18 points on her first serve, never facing a break point, and hitting 12 winners to Gauff’s 5.

When she served an ace at 114 mph (184 kph) to win the set, Jabeur nodded her head several times.

“She’s a tough opponent, and she’s popular on the tour,” Gauff said. “I could tell by the crowd today — I know you guys wanted her to win. Honestly, whenever she’s not playing against me, I cheer for her too.”


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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