Less than three full years after she played in her first Grand Slam tournament, American teenager Coco Gauff will play for one of the four biggest trophies in tennis Saturday at the French Open.
Stopping the surprising run of unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan in Thursday’s semifinals, Gauff, who turned 18 in March, is the youngest player to reach the final in Paris since Kim Clijsters in 2001. She’s also the youngest finalist at any Grand Slam since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova stormed to the Wimbledon title in 2004.
The No.18 seed Gauff hasn’t dropped a set in her six wins at this year’s event. Against Trevisan, Gauff dropped only four games in a 6-3, 6-1 win.
Story of the match: Gauff lost to Trevisan in their only previous meeting, a tight three-setter in the second round of Roland Garros in 2020, when the Italian first went on to make the quarterfinals.
Five things to know about first-time French Open semifinalist Martina Trevisan
After a tight opening six games in which the players traded service breaks twice, Gauff won nine of the last 10 games in the 68-minute victory and snapped Trevisan’s 10-match winning streak. Gauff won three straight games to wrap up the opener in which she won 12 of the last 14 points.
A marathon, 15-minute fourth game in the second set also helped get Gauff over the line. She denied Trevisan four chances to level at 2-2 in a seven-deuce service game before breaking her. She later served out victory to love.
In her last five service games in the match, Gauff lost only four points.
Up next: Though Gauff has played in a Grand Slam doubles final before — she and Caty McNally were runners-up at the US Open last summer — she’s into uncharted territory against a favored opponent now.
The American bids to become the seventh player all-time to win the girls’ and women’s singles titles in Paris, but to do it, she’ll have to snap the 34-match unbeaten run of World No.1 Iga Swiatek. Swiatek dropped just three games in her own semifinal victory against Daria Kasatkina and owns a 2-0 career head-to-head record against Gauff.
Swiatek storms past Kasatkina into second French Open final
Their previous two meetings could be relevant for the championship match. Last year, Swiatek beat Gauff in the semifinals in Rome, 7-6(3), 6-3, and this spring, she was a 6-3, 6-1 winner against her in Miami. That victory was the 14th in Swiatek’s current streak.