Coco Gauff Beats Jelena Ostapenko to Enter US Open Semi-Finals

Coco Gauff Beats Jelena Ostapenko to Enter US Open Semi-Finals – Even during the early stages of her career, Coco Gauff’s development has been anything but straightforward. She’s faced the daunting burden of others’ high expectations, grappled with how to maintain progress after her rapid initial ascent hit a plateau, and had to vigorously defend her forehand, both in the media and on the court, as opponents collectively tried to exploit it.

Nevertheless, despite the numerous challenges she’s encountered, she finds herself precisely where she should be. This past Tuesday, Gauff continued her remarkable summer breakthrough by convincingly defeating Jelena Ostapenko with a score of 6-0, 6-2 in just 68 minutes, securing her first-ever career semi-final appearance at the US Open.

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After her early exit at Wimbledon, Gauff has gone on an impressive run, winning 16 of her last 17 matches. She claimed the most significant titles of her career in Washington and Cincinnati before her current impressive showing at the US Open. Gauff’s achievement is noteworthy as she becomes the first American teenager to reach this stage of her home grand slam tournament since Serena Williams accomplished it in 2001.

“I think this is one of the harder runs I’ve had to the quarter-final stage,” said Gauff. “Obviously never got to semis, but I don’t know, I just feel so fresh, to be honest. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been tricking myself or maybe when this is over I’m going to hit a wall. But I’m really proud of how I’m able to get through these matches.”

The Tuesday schedule at the US Open raised questions about the decisions made by the scheduling committee. Despite it being the most eagerly awaited match of the day, they chose to schedule it at 12pm in the scorching New York heat and humidity, rather than in the prime evening slot. 

While Gauff, who developed her skills under the intense Florida sun, was expected to handle these conditions well, there was more uncertainty about the Latvian’s capacity to adjust to the weather and recover after her dramatic late-night victory over Iga Swiatek on Sunday.

Ostapenko established the initial tone of the match by starting with a barrage of unfortunate unforced errors, making mistakes on both her forehand and backhand early in the rallies and venting her frustration towards her support team. As the match progressed and she maintained her aggressive approach, Ostapenko’s unforced errors continued to accumulate.

Her situation was further complicated by facing one of the swiftest players on the tour on the opposite side of the net. The American tirelessly hustled from one side to the other, not only retrieving shots that would have secured points against almost any other opponent but also maintaining excellent depth in her defensive shots, all while her forehand continued to perform admirably. 

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In contrast, while Gauff stayed steady, Ostapenko essentially played herself out of the match in just 68 minutes, concluding with more unforced errors (36) than total points won (35). Subsequently, Ostapenko contended that her difficulties stemmed from her struggle to recuperate after her match against Swiatek. She also claimed that she had initially been informed that her match with Gauff would take place at night. 

“I think it was better for her the schedule, because obviously she played much earlier the day I played night session,” she said. In her next match, Gauff will go up against either Karolina Muchova or Sorana Cirstea as she aims to sustain her success, which she largely attributes to the joy she finds in her game. This sense of enjoyment has been amplified by her new coaches, Brad Gilbert and Pere Riba, further highlighting her passion for tennis.

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