French Open: Jabeur expects Gauff glory after Coco crushes her hopes

By Sports Desk June 07, 2021

It is already only a matter of time before Coco Gauff becomes a major champion, according to beaten French Open opponent Ons Jabeur.

Gauff raced into the last eight at Roland Garros with a ruthless 6-3 6-1 victory over Jabeur on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Monday.

In doing so, the 17-year-old become the youngest female quarter-finalist at a grand slam in 15 years.

Gauff had previously reached the fourth round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon and won in Paris as a junior.

After a pair of WTA Tour career titles, the next step is to triumph on the biggest stage.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek was still to play on Monday, but Jabeur considers Gauff a good match for the 20-year-old.

"She's playing really good, I've got to say," Jabeur said. "But you never know. Iga is playing really well. It's going to be an interesting matchup if they're going to meet in the semi-final.

"Honestly, if she's not going to win it now, she's probably going to win another time."

Speaking on court, Gauff said: "I'm super happy that I was able to reach my first quarter-final. I played really well today, so I'm happy about that.

"Parma [the Emilia-Romagna Open, won last month] gave me a lot of confidence, especially on the clay.

"It's my first title on clay, so coming here it gave me a lot of confidence and taught me a lot [about] how to close matches and deal with the pressure on important points."

Barbora Krejcikova is up next, having beaten Sloane Stephens, and post-match questions unsurprisingly focused on the quarter-final.

Krejcikova said Gauff "is going to be the next star" and added: "She's young. She's incredible. She's doing really well. She has the weapons. She has the game. I think she's mentally really tough."

The Czech, a 6-2 6-0 winner, said: "I don't know how I would approach this if I was 17 and I was actually doing this well.

"I think it would be just too much pressure, I think it would be just too much pressure for me and maybe I won't be able to handle this. Everybody is different. Everybody is doing a different thing. She's doing really good."

Related items

  • Wimbledon: Kalinina and Tsurenko hoping second-round match can help war-torn Ukraine Wimbledon: Kalinina and Tsurenko hoping second-round match can help war-torn Ukraine

    Anhelina Kalinina and Lesia Tsurenko will face off in the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday with just one thing in their mind – helping Ukraine's war efforts back home.

    Ukrainian pair Kalinina and Tsurenko came through their first-round tests with Anna Bondar and Jodie Burrage respectively on Monday to advance to the next stage.

    Both players receive £50,000 for progressing, while £78,000 is up for grabs for the winner of their midweek meeting at the All England Club.

    And given the events in Ukraine, where thousands have been killed or wounded since Russia invaded in February and at least 12 million have fled, motivation is not an issue.

    "I feel that I play better, just because for me emotionally winning or losing doesn't exist any more," Tsurenko said. "For me, there is a big issue in my life: it's war. And there is nothing else that can beat this.

    "I think with all the sportsmen that are able to take part in the competitions, also with all the singers that go to Poland, to Germany, and having all the concerts, that part when Ukrainians can just go and remind the whole world that we are here, we still have war and we need your help.

    "This is the main thing that I would wish to happen, that we get a lot of heavy weapons. It's just that we should remind with the fact that we are here and we are playing for my country, for Ukraine. We just want to remind that Ukraine is in trouble and we need help."

    Kalinina, who revealed her parents' house in Irpin had been bombed, added: "I understand it’s hard to focus, but for me it matters if I win or if I lose. The more I win, I'm not only helping my family, I'm helping other families and other people.

    "You go further. You earn more money. Then I'm able to help, and I'm helping as much as I can and not only to my family. So for me that matters. I'm not a superstar so I'm helping with what I can. And it's a lot to them, and for me that's huge motivation to play. Huge."

  • Wimbledon: Jabeur targets number one ranking after cruising into second round Wimbledon: Jabeur targets number one ranking after cruising into second round

    Ons Jabeur targeted becoming world number one after making a confident start to her Wimbledon bid, having required just 53 minutes to record a straight-sets win over Mirjam Bjorklund.

    Jabeur, who became world number two on Monday – the highest ranking ever achieved by an African player on either the WTA or ATP tour – raced to a 6-1 6-3 first-round victory on No. 1 Court.

    The Tunisian, who prepared for her Wimbledon campaign by winning the German Open earlier this month and playing doubles with Serena Williams at the Eastbourne International, will face Katarzyna Kawa in the second round on Wednesday. 

    Ranking points are not on offer at the All England Club due to Russian and Belarusian players being banned, but Jabeur is already looking further ahead, declaring after her opener that becoming the world's top female player this year was her aim.

    Asked whether she was hopeful of bettering her run to the last eight in SW19 last year, Jabeur said: "Yes, for sure, especially [after] today I achieved my highest ranking.

    "It's really amazing to be here, to come back to Wimbledon, to play on one of the greatest surfaces that I like, especially one that loves my drop shots and my slices, so I'm happy to be back and hopefully I'll go further than the quarter-finals.

    "It's a great start for me. I want to go as far as I can this tournament and dropping four games is a start.

    "In the beginning of the season, I was like number 10 or number nine, and I said, 'I belong in this ranking and I don't feel I deserve to be five or four'.

    "Now I feel like I deserve it even more. I feel like I won matches to prove myself on this level.

    "I do feel more confident. I do feel like I deserve to be on this level. Hopefully next step will be number one."

  • Wimbledon: Hurkacz ace pledge reaches €2,100 but seventh seed exits early Wimbledon: Hurkacz ace pledge reaches €2,100 but seventh seed exits early

    Hubert Hurkacz sent down 21 aces in his first-round match at Wimbledon, enough to raise €2,100 for the people of Ukraine but not enough to reach the second round.

    The seventh seed, who was a semi-finalist at the All England Club last year, promised on the eve of the championships to donate €100 in aid for every one of his aces.

    "Hope my serve works well," Hurkacz wrote on Twitter, and it certainly did across five sets against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

    Having averaged 11.6 aces per match this season – his 452 the third most on the ATP Tour – Hurkacz had 21 to just three double faults in an effective serving display on Monday.

    Unfortunately, Davidovich Fokina was still able to pull off an early upset, narrowly advancing 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 5-7 2-6 7-6 (10-8).

    This was the third top-10 win of Davidovich Fokina's career but the first on grass, with his previous two such victories both coming at the Monte-Carlo Masters (vs Matteo Berrettini in 2021 and versus Novak Djokovic in 2022).

    While Hurkacz will not add to his ace tally, John Isner undoubtedly will.

    He had a remarkable 54 in his five-set win against Enzo Couacaud – as many as Hurkacz managed across six matches in his 2021 run to the last four.

    The last player to record 50 or more aces in a grand slam match had also been Isner, against Steven Johnson at the 2020 US Open.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.