French Open: Gauff dispatches Stephens to reach maiden major semi-final

By Sports Desk May 31, 2022

Coco Gauff marched into her first grand slam semi-final with a straight-sets defeat of fellow American Sloane Stephens at the French Open.

Teenager Gauff will face the unseeded Martina Trevisan for a place in the final after beating her compatriot 7-5 6-2 at Roland Garros on Tuesday.

The composed 18-year-old has not dropped a set in Paris and produced another assured display on Court Phillipe-Chatrier to break new ground.

Eighth seed Gauff was rewarded for an aggressive display, breaking six times as Stephens paid the price for being too passive in a contest that was over in 90 minutes.

Gauff started with huge confidence, racing into a 3-0 lead courtesy of some heavy hitting while creating great angles.

Stephens clicked into gear with a more aggressive approach, winning three games in a row from 5-2 down as Gauff was unable to serve out the set.

The teenager halted with momentum with a hold and wrapped up the set with a backhand winner after the 2017 US Open champion made a mess of a volley at the net.

Stephens came out firing to break in the first game of the second set, but Gauff hit straight back to get back on serve and led 3-1 after ending another point she dictated with a cross-court backhand winner.

The 64th-ranked Stephens was gifted a chance to get back on serve when Gauff presented her with a simple volley at the net, but she inexplicably drilled it long and the youngster held for a 4-1 lead after saving three break points.

Gauff had won five games in a row and was on the brink of victory when her opponent crashed a forehand into the net, and although she failed to serve out the match in a nervy game, she broke for a fourth time in the second set to seal it.

 

Data slam: Gauff living the teenage dream

Gauff became only the fifth female player to reach the last four at Roland Garros this century before turning 19. On the evidence of this display, she has a great chance of playing in a maiden major final on Saturday.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Gauff– 18/23
Stephens – 16/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Gauff – 3/6
Stephens– 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Gauff – 6/10
Stephens – 3/9

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