PARIS, France – American teenager Coco Gauff crushed Italy’s Martina Trevisan, 6-3, 6-1, on Thursday, June 2 to become the youngest French Open finalist in 21 years and set up a showcase clash with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
The 18-year-old, who was already in unknown Grand Slam territory with her first semifinal spot, will next face Polish top seed Swiatek, who cruised into Saturday’s final with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Russian Daria Kasatkina to stretch her winning run to 34 matches.
“I am a little bit in shock right. I have no words to describe how I fee right now,” Gauff, who is also through to the women’s doubles semifinal with Jessica Pegula, said. “Honestly, I wasn’t nervous going in today which is a surprise.”
“Playing Iga, she’s on a streak right now obviously, and I think going in I have nothing to lose and she’s definitely the favourite going into the match on paper.”
“I’m just going to play free and play my best tennis. I think in a Grand Slam final anything can happen.”
Gauff, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament and is the youngest finalist at any Grand Slam in 18 years, needed time to find her range, trading two early breaks each with Trevisan.
Once she found a way to neutralize the left-hander’s punishing forehand, however, Gauff breezed through the first set by winning the last three games.
“I had to be more patient,” Gauff said. “Being American I grew up hitting like this and hitting hard and I had to remind myself this is not the one to attack.
“I played her two years ago I and I lost against her and I know how difficult it is to play against her,” she said,
The 28-year-old Trevisan, bidding to become the lowest ranked finalist in the event’s history, took a medical break to strap up her right calf.
But things only got worse for her as she piled up 36 errors in total with Gauff stepping in to whip her backhands deep and move her opponent around.
She also kept attacking her serve as the Italian managed only a low 46% win rate on her first delivery.
Ranked 23rd in the world, Gauff broke her again in a game lasting 14 minutes to go 3-1 up and never looked back, sealing her biggest career victory on her first match point.
“If I do lift the trophy, honestly, I don’t think my life is going to change really,” Gauff said. “I know it sounds kind of bad to say that, but the people who love me are still going to love me regardless if I lift the trophy or not.” – Rappler.com