Caroline Garcia knocks out Coco Gauff and advances to the semis

Caroline Garcia knocks out Coco Gauff and advances to the semis

“I don’t know how to describe what I feel, the energy was crazy, my head is buzzing,” said the 17th in the world, before leaving the Arthur-Ashe court where she had just knocked out Gauff (12th) 6-3, 6-4. She who had never passed the third round of the New York Major – and had never passed the quarters in any of the Majors – will try Thursday to reach the final by facing the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (5th), finalist of the last Wimbledon.

She becomes the first French player to play a Grand Slam half since Marion Bartoli when she won Wimbledon in 2013.

The Lyonnaise thus lined up a 13th victory in a row since qualifying in Cincinnati where she won the tenth title of her career just before coming to New York. Former world N.4 who fell to 79th place in the WTA on May 23, 2022, she should return to the Top 10 at the end of the tournament.

She is only the third French player to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows in the Open era (since 1968), after Amélie Mauresmo (2002 and 2006) and Mary Pierce (2005), and the eighth all Majors combined.

Always aggressive

Faced with Gauff, who had beaten her in their two previous meetings, in Indian Wells in 2021 and Doha in 2022, Garcia immediately took the match in hand by imposing her power, her speed, and by putting Gauff under a pressure that the American, finalist of the last Roland-Garros, could not bear (24 unforced errors, 26 caused errors).

“I have always played aggressively, it turns out that in recent months I have been in good enough physical shape to play this game and continue on this path,” she said. Garcia thus managed the entry break in the first set by benefiting from a double fault from his opponent. Then she managed a double break thanks to a passing shot that was easy for Gauff but she played too long.

Trailing 4-0, Gauff played a little more aggressively to take back a serve from Garcia, but the Frenchwoman got her hands on the match and won her first set point.

She followed up with a new entry break in the second set and did not let go of her advantage to conclude on her first match point, not without having saved a break point at 3-2. Her crushing victory over the 19-year-old American confirms that Garcia is the most impressive player since the start of the tournament.

Who will be the N.1?

And she does not hide her ambitions before playing the next match: Jabeur, “since the juniors, she is strong. I look forward to taking up this challenge,” she said.

In the men’s draw, Norwegian Casper Ruud (7th) beat Italian Matteo Berrettini (14th) 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). “I admit I’m a little surprised to find myself in the semi-finals, but I’ve really developed my hard game over the past two years. And my final (at the Masters 1000) in Miami in April proved to me that I could go far in big tournaments, ”explained the Norwegian, clay court specialist.

At 23, he thus prolongs a double dream: that of winning a first Grand Slam tournament, after his first final, lost to Rafael Nadal in the spring at Roland-Garros, and that of becoming world No. of the tournament.

To get closer to the title, he will have to dismiss Russian Karen Khachanov (31st) on Friday, who avenged his compatriot and defending champion Daniil Medvedev by eliminating his Australian scorer Nick Kyrgios (25th) 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, after a very big standoff of nearly four hours which ended around 1am Wednesday.

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