Earlier this month, American Coco Gauff graduated from high school, and was able to celebrate doing so while in Paris preparing for the French Open. Fast-forward a little more than a week and the 18-year-old’s time in Paris is not done yet as she powered her way into the semifinals on Tuesday.
Gauff ousted fellow American Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-2 in their quarterfinal, a rematch of the second-round match the two played at the U.S. Open last year. Stephens won that contest in straight-sets, but Gauff exacted her revenge on Tuesday.
“Last time I played her I lost so I’m glad that today went different. Honestly, I told myself to stay mentally there,” said Gauff. “I know that there were going to be some shots that probably should have been made and there's going to be some shots that she'd get in the court that probably no other player would get in the court.”
She raced out to a 5-2 lead in the opening set, only to see Stephens rally to even the set at 5-5. But as Stephens served to stay in the set and force a tiebreaker, Gauff broke once more to take the set 7-5.
Her high-level of play continued into the second set as even after she was broken to start it off, Gauff rattled off five straight games after that to seize control. After 90 minutes of play, Gauff was into the first major semifinal of her singles career.
“I feel so happy right now. Words can’t explain,” Gauff added. “Last year in the quarter-final it was a tough loss for me. I think that match made me stronger, to better prepare for moments like today and the moments I’ll face in the next round.”
Gauff advances to play unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan, who continued her run at Roland Garros with a 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-3 win over last year’s U.S. Open finalist and 17th seed Leylah Fernandez.