Coco Gauff is making history yet again following her latest US Open match.
Gauff reached her first-ever US Open semifinals after defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-0, 6-2 on September 5.
The win makes 19-year-old Gauff the first American teen to reach the US Open semifinals since Serena Williams in 2001. Back in 2001, Serena beat then world No. 1 Martina Hingis 6-3, 6-2 to move into the US Open finals match. Serena went on to lose her US Open finals match to her older sister Venus Williams.
“Last year, I lost in the quarterfinal stage, and I wanted to do better this year,” Gauff said in a post-match interview following her quarterfinals win, reports ESPN. “Still have a long way to go, but I’m happy and I’m ready to get back to work for the next one.”
Ahead of her September 5 match, Gauff had already earned the distinction of being the first American teen to make it to consecutive U.S. Open quarterfinals since Serena in 2001.
Gauff had an impressive performance during her fourth-round match at Arthur Ashe stadium on September 3. She earned a 6-3,3-6,6-1 victory against Denmark’s Caroline Woziniacki, a 33-year-old mother of two who just returned to the sport after retirement.
The match was not an easy win for the Florida teen. She struggled during the first half of the match.
At one point, Gauff turned toward one of her coaches Brad Gilbert, asking him to please “stop talking.” Gauff said it was just one of those moments where she needed to think clearly.
“I was getting frustrated. It wasn’t really directed at him. It was just that I needed to reset. In that moment, I just didn’t want to hear anything. I just wanted to think about what I was doing,” Gauff said when referencing the moment.
Gilbert has been working as a temporary consultant alongside Gauff’s full-time coach, Pere Riba. And Gilbert has become known for his incessant chatter with the athlete.
While Gauff admits he’s “quite accurate,” she took control of her game. She turned around her 22 unforced errors in the second set to pull off the win in the end under 90-degree heat, something even Woziniacki had to give her credit for.
“She’s always been a great athlete. She’s always had the backhand, the serve, the fighting spirit. I feel like right now, it’s all kind of coming together for her,” said Woziniacki.
With her quarterfinals win, the sixth-seeded Gauff has now won 16 of her past 17 matches. She also recently secured two of her biggest titles at the DC Open in Washington, DC, and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Photo by Rena Schild / Shutterstock