Rafael Nadal has declared he does not want this to be his final French Open.

The announcement from Nadal seems to put to bed the theory that he could announce an immediate retirement if he wins the title for a 14th time at Roland Garros on Sunday.

Nadal, who takes on Alexander Zverev in Friday's semi-finals, is battling a long-troubling foot problem in Paris and remarkably saw off Novak Djokovic in an electrifying showdown on Tuesday night.

His pain threshold appears to be far beyond that of the average human, and Nadal has brought a doctor with him to France to further improve his prospects of lasting the distance.

Friday also marks Nadal's 36th birthday, and he has dropped heavy hints that this might be his final fling.

However, if that proves to be the case, it will be with heavy reluctance on Nadal's part, as he made clear on Thursday.

Speaking to Spanish broadcaster TVE, Nadal said: "I have always had things clear. I accept things as they come. At no time do I intend for it to seem like a farewell.

"What happens is that there is a reality that today is what it is. We will continue working to find solutions to what is happening down here.

"I trust and hope to be able to return. What happens is that there is a year to go, and it is evident that these last months, not these last three, I would say that since last year they are being difficult.

"The day-to-day with everything that entails is being difficult, not because of the effort that it entails for me, but also to maintain competitiveness. I play to be competitive, which is what really makes me happy.

"We are going to enjoy the moment and after this we will continue thinking about the things that need to be improved, and the hope is to continue."

There would seem a strong chance that Nadal elects to miss the grass-court season in order to rest up, but he continues to defy expectations, so nothing can be ruled out. 

Should he triumph in a grand slam for a 22nd time on Sunday, it would take him two clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the all-time list.

Nadal's record at this tournament is quite extraordinary, surpassing the achievement of any other player in tennis history at a single grand slam.

Alongside his 13 French Open titles, he has won 330 of the 364 sets he has contested at the event and owns a 110-3 win-loss match record.

Some 88 of those wins at the French Open have come in straight sets, and from 2010 to 2015 he reeled off 39 victories in succession, until Djokovic beat him in the quarter-finals.

Nadal has won 23 6-0 sets at his favourite major, including subjecting Federer and Djokovic to such torture in the 2008 and 2020 finals respectively.

Zverev has only been to one grand slam final, losing at the US Open to Dominic Thiem in 2020, but may think his time is coming after an impressive quarter-final win over Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old widely acclaimed as the next clay-court king.

It might help the German that the spotlight will be fixed on Nadal, too, as it invariably is on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

There has been no collective chasing away of Nadal amid the talk that his career could be on the rocks, and no media agenda involved. This is a thrilling late-career resurgence from the Spaniard that many, albeit perhaps not Djokovic supporters, would like to see continue.

This time he has laid his injury situation quite bare, and magical nights such as the four-set epic against Djokovic this week are becoming increasingly loaded with poignancy.

As Nadal said in a news conference after that match, regardless of his intentions, this could well be his French Open farewell.

"Yes, I can't say another thing, no?" Nadal said. "I am very clear about that, no?

"I am old enough to not hide things or come here and say a thing that I don't believe. I don't know what can happen. I think, as I said before, I'm gonna be playing this tournament because we are doing the things to be ready to play this tournament, but I don't know what's gonna happen after here.

"I mean, I have what I have there in the foot, so if we are not able to find an improvement or a small solution on that, then it's becoming super difficult for me.

"I am just enjoying every day that I have the chance to be here, and without thinking much about what can happen in the future.

"Of course I'm gonna keep fighting to find a solution for that, but for the moment, we haven't. So to just give myself a chance to play another semi-final here in Roland Garros is a lot of energy for me."

Coco Gauff secured a maiden grand slam final appearance with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Martina Trevisan at the French Open on Thursday.

Gauff had not dropped a set in Paris en route to the last four, but Trevisan had only surrendered one to Leylah Fernandez in her last match, teeing up a mouthwatering clash on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Neither player could maintain control in the first set, with the pair exchanging four consecutive breaks, but Gauff seized things from that point onwards.

The world number 23 profited from creating some smart angles to avert the danger of the heavy hitting Trevisan, who had powered 113 winners through the first five rounds at the tournament.

The 18-year-old Gauff eventually claimed the first set after Trevisan sent the ball long, with the American in clinical form as she converted four of six break points.

Gauff was not as ruthless in the second set but still gained the early advantage, breaking the Italian at the fourth time of asking to go 3-1 up after a mammoth 19-point game that lasted 14 minutes.

Trevisan, struggling with a right thigh issue sustained earlier in the match, was buoyed on by the vociferous crowd but ultimately failed to fight back as Gauff eased to victory in just an hour and 26 minutes.

The in-form number one seed Iga Swiatek, who has remarkably won her last 34 matches after defeating Daria Kasatkina in the semi-final earlier on Thursday, awaits Gauff in the final on Saturday.

Data slam: Trevisan streak ends

Trevisan became the first Italian player to win 10 matches in a row since Flavia Pennetta in 2009, but Gauff proved a step too far. The American was a junior champion at Roland Garros just four years ago, and will now look to add the women's title to her name.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Trevisan – 13/36
Gauff – 14/20

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Trevisan – 0/4
Gauff – 1/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Trevisan – 2/5
Gauff – 6/11

Iga Swiatek ticked off a whole host of accomplishments as her 34-match winning streak carried her into the French Open final on Thursday.

The world number one was in sensational form heading to Roland Garros after winning five consecutive tournaments.

And there has appeared little prospect of Swiatek slowing in Paris, with her 6-2 6-1 defeat of Daria Kasatkina securing a sixth WTA Tour final appearance in a row.

Swiatek is the first player to make six finals in the first six months of the year since Serena Williams reached seven before the halfway mark in 2013.

She has also now matched Williams' best winning run this century, with only Novak Djokovic in 2011 (43), Roger Federer in 2006 (42) and Venus Williams in 2000 (35) enjoying longer sequences across both the ATP and WTA Tours since 2000.

Swiatek's feats are all the more impressive given her age, as she turned 21 just this week.

Now with 20 wins at Roland Garros, the 2020 champion is the youngest female player to that mark since Martina Hingis in 1999.

Only eight women – Evonne Goolagong, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Hingis, Kim Clijsters and Ana Ivanovic – have reached their second French Open final at a younger age.

Iga Swiatek produced heavy metal tennis to destroy Daria Kasatkina's French Open hopes in a brutal semi-final performance, then revealed she was inspired by listening to Led Zeppelin.

Swiatek, who is reading the Alexander Dumas novel The Three Musketeers while in Paris, is hoovering up classic culture at a young age.

The 21-year-old has made no secret of her love for hard rock and rates AC/DC among her favourite bands.

Rather than search for focus by listening to chillout music or meditation tapes, Swiatek plays by her own rules and served up a 6-2 6-1 thumping of Kasatkina after indulging in a little Page and Plant.

"I try to treat every match the same way, because if I realise this is one of the biggest matches of the season it can stress me out. So I'm trying to focus on the tasks and I listen to music when I work out," Swiatek said in an on-court interview.

Asked which artist she was listening to, Swiatek said: "Led Zeppelin. It's really helping me out so I can start with being proactive. I use everything to help me."

Swiatek won the 2020 French Open final as an outsider ranked 54th in the world, but she is a hot favourite to be champion this year after climbing to number one.

Friday's win was a 34th in succession for the Polish player, who has won five tournaments in that run.

She said: "It's a pretty special moment, and I'm really emotional. I'm so grateful to be in that place and be healthy and be able to play my game. It's amazing and I love playing here."

She is feeling plenty of love from the Roland Garros crowds, particularly a strong contingent from Poland.

"It's easier to play matches with that kind of support, and I've had that in every place I've played this year and it's still surprising for me," she said.

"When I started playing the WTA, basically right after my first year it was COVID and I wasn't able to see how many Polish people would come, and it's still overwhelming and it surprises me how much they're supporting."

As well as being open about her musical heroes, Swiatek is unabashed in making clear her affection for Rafael Nadal, the 13-time French Open winner who is through to another semi-final this fortnight after beating Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.

"He's inspiring me in every aspect, on court and off court, because he's so humble and down to earth," Swiatek said.

"He's the kind of guy who's always saying hi, and it's amazing because it seems the success didn't change him and he's still the same, a great person.

"When I watched this year's Australian Open final [against Daniil Medvedev] it was just amazing. Even I had doubts and I could see how he was trying to find solutions and trying to get better during the match, and he did and he won, so he's a huge inspiration. Not only here but on every court, it's just great to watch him play."

Iga Swiatek charged past Daria Kasatkina to reach the French Open final with a devastating display of excellence.

The surprise 2020 Roland Garros champion is this year's hot favourite for the title, and she extended her astonishing winning run to 34 matches with a 6-2 6-1 victory on Friday.

It was magnificent from top seed Swiatek, who from 2-2 in the first set won 10 of the next 11 games, sealing victory with an ace.

Kasatkina is a former French Open girls' champion and this was her first grand slam semi-final at the age of 25, with the Russian having largely breezed through to this round.

A former world number 10, now ranked at 20 by the WTA, Barcelona-based Kasatkina would have returned to the top 10 had she reached the final in Paris. However, she had lost three times to Swiatek already in 2022, winning only 11 games in those matches, and so this landslide result was perhaps inevitable.

Kasatkina's start was bright enough, recovering an early break, but Swiatek soon began to take control, moving well and finding her range, crucially keeping her winners count higher than the unforced errors.

Picking off Kasatkina's soft second serve was helping Swiatek's cause, and a stunning forehand clean winner from one such scenario sealed a 5-1 lead as Swiatek closed in on the title match.

She wrapped it up in just an hour and four minutes, the potential of the match-up never materialising as Swiatek, who spent time listening to Led Zeppelin before coming on court, left Kasatkina dazed and confused.

Data slam: Swiatek exploits Kasatkina weakness

Swiatek, who was ranked at number 54 when she took the title as a teenager, was still a work in progress at the time. She is fast becoming the finished article and Kasatkina found the 21-year-old's power and precision overwhelming. Here, Kasatkina dropped sets for the first time in the tournament, and her second serve was made to look ridiculously meek. Kasatkina won only three of 14 points on her second serve, and that is a recipe for defeat.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 22/13
Kasatkina – 10/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 1/2
Kasatkina – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 5/10
Kasatkina – 1/1

Casper Ruud beamed following his French Open quarter-final win over Holger Rune, proclaiming Tuesday a "big day" for Norwegian tennis.

Following compatriot Ulrikke Eikeri's progression to the mixed-doubles final with Belgian Joran Vliegen, Ruud defeated Rune 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 23-year-old had already secured his best finish at a grand slam before the win, having never previously progressed past the fourth round.

Despite becoming the first Norwegian man to make a major semi-final, Ruud was inclined to share the spotlight with Elkeri and her own success.

"A big day for Norwegian tennis, because we have also a female player Ulrikke Eikeri who made the finals of mixed doubles today," Ruud said post-match. "She’s even one step further than me!

"She will play for probably the biggest title of her life tomorrow, so I wish her luck."

He held off a spirited challenge from Rune after taking the first set in comfortable fashion, with the 19-year-old Dane securing a double break to win the second set.

Ruud showed his experience in what proved to be a critical third set, starting to anticipate Rune's variation in shot selection, stepping onto drop shots and upping the tempo from the baseline.

After claiming the third-set tie-break with relative comfort, the eighth seed closed out with an assured fourth, setting up a semi-final with the resurgent Marin Cilic.

"When you play best of five sets you will face some difficulties, some challenging moments and some good ones hopefully," Ruud said. "The third set was key for me to win. It was a long one and a very close one. It was a nice feeling to sit down and having a two sets to one lead.

"These are the matches you dream about playing and hopefully of course even the final, if it's possible. I have to be really focused and bring my A-game in the semi-final, because Marin has played great all week and it's going to be another tough match.

"That's going to be a very tough match. [Cilic] seems like he's playing some of the best tennis of his life at the moment, here in Roland Garros."

Casper Ruud became the first Norwegian man to make a grand slam semi-final after seeing off teenager Holger Rune in four sets at the French Open.

Wednesday's encounter was already a history maker, with Ruud having become the first male player from Norway to have reached a major quarter-final, while Rune was the first from Denmark to make the last eight at Roland Garros.

Yet while Rune at times showed the volatility of youth – albeit with flashes of the quality that makes the world number 40 one of the brightest prospects on the ATP Tour – Ruud's composure got him through in the end as the 23-year-old prevailed 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

Ruud breezed through the first set, striking four aces and 14 winners on his way to claiming the opener 6-1 with a little over 30 minutes on court.

Yet any chances of Rune rolling over were dispelled when the youngster broke Ruud straight back after conceding serve to go 3-2 down in the second set.

Having fended off a break point, the crucial double break came Rune's way to seal the 55-minute second set 6-4.

Rune endured a nervy hold of serve to start the third set, and once again the Dane – vocal in his frustration throughout – showed great resilience to hit back and break immediately after Ruud had nosed ahead at 4-3.

A second break point of the set went missing for Ruud, but the Norwegian was clinical in the tie-break, getting on top of Rune with some aggressive shots to regain the momentum.

With the match edging over three hours, Ruud upped the tempo, easily holding on each of his serves but making Rune work hard on his own.

Three unforced Rune errors handed Ruud three breakpoints, with the chance to serve for the match begging, yet the 19-year-old's resolve came to the fore again as he clawed his way to deuce with a wonderful cross-court forehand.

But this time, Rune could not swing the pendulum in his favour as Ruud broke at the fourth attempt, with a supreme forehand winner down the line sealing his victory.

Data slam: Maiden grand slam semi for Ruud

The world number eight is enjoying a fine season. He already has two titles under his belt, including a triumph in Geneva prior to the French Open, which followed on from reaching the semi-finals in the Internazionali d'Italia.

But for the first time in his career, he is into the final four of a major, with Marin Cilic (the fourth Croatian male player to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals in the Open Era) standing in his way of a place in the final.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Ruud – 55/24
Rune – 54/46

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Ruud – 13/1
Rune – 1/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Ruud – 5/17
Rune – 3/6

Marin Cilic beat Andrey Rublev in a five-set classic on Court Philippe-Chatrier to reach the French Open semi-finals for the first time.

The 2014 US Open winner produced an incredible quarter-final display as he dominated a final-set super tie-break to down the Russian 5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-2) after four hours and 10 minutes of absorbing tennis.

The win means the Croatian, the 20th seed at this year's edition of Roland Garros, has reached at least the semi-finals of all four grand slams, with the French Open the only major at which he has yet to reach a final.

Rublev enjoyed the upper hand early on, claiming the first set with a display of clinical serving and forcing the all-important break in Cilic's final service game, as the seventh seed failed to give up a single break point during a strong start. 

But Cilic bounced back in the second, breaking with a big forehand winner in Rublev's first game on serve before clinging on in a series of drawn-out service games of his own.

The 33-year-old had to be more patient in the third, breaking in game seven with a winner to end a 16-shot rally to turn the match on its head, only for Rublev to fight back to force a decider.

The Russian won 92 per cent of first-serve points during a big-hitting fourth set, finally breaking in the eighth game before neither player could convert their one break point apiece in the decider, as an epic encounter required the use of the newly introduced super tie-break.

After four hours of intense back-and-forth, Cilic produced a classy display to blow a visibly frustrated Rublev away, claiming the tie-break 10-2 to set up a final-four meeting with either Casper Ruud or Holger Rune.

Speaking after the win, Cilic hailed the quality on display during the titanic tussle, saying: "It was an incredible battle and Andrey played incredibly well. It was an incredible performance [from both players].

"There was a lot of heart and one had to go down. Today was my day, but Andrey also played an incredible match, bad luck to him.

"Unfortunately I lost that fourth set, I thought I was close to getting the break at some points and Andrey played some great games, but when you play this long there's always going to be ups and downs."

Data Slam: Cilic joins greats in completing semi-final set

Cilic's superb win made him just the fifth active men's player to have reached at least the semi-finals at each of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, after world number one Novak Djokovic and former number ones Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Cilic - 88/71

Rublev - 35/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Cilic - 33/2

Rublev - 15/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Cilic - 2/7

Rublev - 2/8

Iga Swiatek continued her outstanding form as she cruised into the French Open semi-finals with a 6-3 6-2 win over Jessica Pegula, joining an elite list of young players to have reached the final four in the year's first two grand slams.

In racking up her 33rd consecutive win, the world number one ensured she followed up her semi-final appearance at this year's Australian Open with another deep run at Roland Garros.

On the day after her 21st birthday, 2020 French Open champion Swiatek joined a select group of players in managing that feat, with only six women making back-to-back semi-finals at the tournaments at a younger age than the Pole since the turn of the century.

They are Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova.

Having become just the fourth woman this century to win five consecutive tournaments on the WTA Tour coming into Roland Garros, Swiatek will go into her semi-final clash against Daria Kasatkina confident of taking another step towards a second grand slam title.

Iga Swiatek says it was "disappointing and surprising" to hear Amelie Mauresmo state that watching women play at the French Open is less appealing than seeing their male counterparts.

Mauresmo, the tournament director at Roland Garros, was asked on Wednesday why only one match out of 10 during the night sessions in Paris had been contested by women.

The former world number one replied: "In this era that we are in right now, I don't feel - and as a woman and former player, I don't feel bad or unfair saying that right now you have more attraction. Can you say that? Appeal? That's the general, for the men's matches."

Mauresmo added: "This is what we wanted to showcase to spectators who had only one-match tickets, because some of them do. It was more difficult to have, of course, a match, a night-session match with only female tennis players."

Alize Cornet's victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the second round was the only evening match involving women to take place in the first year where night sessions have been on the schedule at the French Open.

While Swiatek says she is not bothered what time of day she plays, the world number one was not impressed with Mauresmo's comments.

It's 33 straight wins for No.1 @iga_swiatek -- catch all the best moments from her 6-3, 6-2 win today with Highlights by @emirates#RolandGarros | #EmiratesFlyBetterMoments pic.twitter.com/NuIw0xcOfe

After reaching the semi-finals at the expense of Jessica Pegula, the top seed said: "It is a little bit disappointing, and surprising because she was also in the WTA.

"From my point of view, for every player it's more convenient to play at a normal hour, but for sure I want to entertain and I also want to show my best tennis in every match.

"So, for me, I'm always focused the same way when I'm going out. It doesn't matter if it's day session or night sessions. But, yeah, it is a little bit disappointing.

"But it's always their decision and we kind of have to accept that. But I want my tennis to be entertainment as well, I always said that, and in my toughest moments I always remember that I also play for people.

"I think it's kind of [the] personal opinion of every person if they like men's tennis or women's tennis more, or if they like them equally, but I think women's tennis has a lot of advantages.

"And some may say that it's unpredictable and girls are not consistent. But, on the other hand, it may also be something that is really appealing, and it may really attract more people. So it depends on personal views of some people."

Daria Kasatkina aims to climb another "mountain" when she faces Iga Swiatek in her first grand slam semi-final at the French Open.

Kasatkina won an all-Russian showdown with Veronika Kudermetova on Court Philippe-Chatrier 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to break new ground at a major on Wednesday.

The 20th seed had lost her previous two grand slam quarter-finals in 2018, but she was not denied on this occasion in Paris.

Kasatkina will do battle with Swiatek for a place in the Roland Garros final on Thursday after the world number one beat Jessica Pegula in straight sets.

Top seed Swiatek has beaten Kasatkina twice in hard-court events this year and the Pole is on an astonishing 33-match winning run.

Yet Kasatkina has not dropped a set at the French Open and the 25-year-old is relishing the challenge of playing the biggest match of her career.

She said: "We played a few times this year. Okay, I lost those matches, but it was a different story. It was a hard court, beginning of the year, I was not in the same shape as I am now.

"I cannot compare what we are going to have tomorrow and what we had in February, March when we were playing. It's going to be completely different match. I want to win a lot, she wants to win as well, and it's going to be a good match.

"You never know what's going to happen in the semi-final of a grand slam, so it's going to be fun and that's it."

Kasatkina will savour her best performance at a major, but is hungry for more.

"I have no time to relax, I'm playing already tomorrow. So a little bit of time to enjoy it, because still it's special for me, a first semi-final," she added.

"But I know that tomorrow is another mountain in front of me which I have to climb and that's it. Maybe it's even better that I don't have much time to think about how good it is to be in the semi-finals, so I have another battle."

As she prepares to face the all-conquering tournament favourite, Kasatkina does not believe she has ever been in better shape.

She said: "Mentally and physically I feel the best I ever was, which is good, because it means that I'm improving. But I don't feel safe, because when you're in the comfort zone it means there's something wrong.

"I think it's better to feel something behind you, so you don't relax much. I think I'm always ready, you have to be always be ready.

"It doesn't have to be like, 'Oh, I'm so bad, and what do I have to do now?' But if you are ready and you know how to get out of this, this is also what I learn."

Iga Swiatek is enjoying a birthday week to remember – or perhaps one to forget.

The world number one turned 21 on Tuesday, between the 32nd and 33rd matches of a remarkable winning streak.

Having won five consecutive tournaments heading into the French Open, there was plenty for Swiatek to celebrate even before her big day.

So perhaps she can be forgiven for losing track of her age in the moments after her latest win against Jessica Pegula on Wednesday.

Having carried out her on-court media duties, Swiatek wrote a message on one of the Roland Garros cameras with the hashtag "#22".

"No, wait," the 21-year-old said just as she prepared to step away, covering her face with embarrassment. "I forgot how old I am!"

A failed attempt to wipe off the incorrect number resulted in Swiatek instead crossing out her message and scribbling "#21" next to it – far more untidy than any display she has turned in at Roland Garros.

Iga Swiatek showed no signs of slowing as she reached the French Open semi-finals with a straight-sets victory over Jessica Pegula, her 33rd in succession.

The 2020 Roland Garros champion entered this year's event in imperious form, having become the fourth woman this century to win five consecutive tournaments on the WTA Tour.

And the day after her 21st birthday, Swiatek took another stride towards extending that streak to six, swatting aside Pegula 6-3 6-2 in the last eight.

Only Daria Kasatkina – against whom she has won three in a row, including the second match in this remarkable run of victories – now lies between the world number one and yet another final.

The early signs were predictably ominous for Pegula as Swiatek broke immediately, although a sloppy first service game followed and saw the Pole collapse from 40-up to level the scores when she thrashed a forehand into the net cord.

Pegula then stuck with Swiatek for a period, but her opponent's class soon came to the fore again as she sensationally scrambled to beat the second bounce from a drop shot and squeeze a return over the net to restore her lead at 4-3.

That was the first of five successive Swiatek games as she wrapped up the set at the second attempt on Pegula's serve – the American committing five unforced errors in that game alone.

That sequence was interrupted by a gutsy Pegula hold, only for Swiatek to defend her own serve in the next game to remain in the ascendancy before breaking for the first time in the second with a brilliant backhand down the line.

Pegula kept battling, but she was only temporarily able to hold up Swiatek at the finish line, a seven-minute game ended by a stunning winner to break again and reach the semis.

Data Slam: Pegula no match for number one

Pegula's only previous meeting with a current number one saw her thrashed in straight sets by Ash Barty at the Australian Open. Swiatek has succeeded Barty at the top of the rankings following her retirement and has since surpassed the Aussie's dominance, now winning 16 in a row as number one.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Swiatek – 30/28
Pegula – 16/27

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Swiatek – 4/0
Pegula – 2/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Swiatek – 5/11
Pegula – 1/2

Daria Kasatkina is through to her first grand slam semi-final after winning an all-Russian battle with Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets at the French Open.

Kasatkina lost her previous two major quarter-finals in 2018, but she broke new ground with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

The 20th seed will face Iga Swiatek or Jessica Pegula for a place in the final after ending Kudermetova's best run at a grand slam.

Kudermetova paid the price for 50 unforced errors in her maiden major quarter-final on Court Philippe-Chatrier, where Kasatkina overcame the nerves to move into the last four.

It was Kudermetova who drew first blood when she broke to lead 3-1, but she failed to consolidate as a tenacious Kasatkina responded immediately.

The two 25-year-olds both fended off a couple of break points in their next service games, but Kasatkina edged in front for the first time courtesy of a sublime cross-court winner to take a 5-4 lead after a terrible miss from Kudermetova with the court wide open.

A steely Kasatkina was moving superbly and served out the set, before moving into a 3-1 lead in the second set after three consecutive games went against the serve.

The 29th seed was struggling to find her rhythm, but she was level at 4-4 when her compatriot overcooked a forehand.

Kasatkina had looked edgy in that service game, yet she had an opportunity to serve for the match when a Kudermetova backhand struck the net cord and landed on her side of the net.

A nervy Kasatkina was unable to serve it out but held to force a tie-break after Kudermetova called for treatment on her left foot.

Kasatkina took a 6-1 lead in the breaker following a string of errors from Kudermetova and finally finished it off with her fifth match point, executing a drop shot to perfection.

Data Slam: No setbacks for Kasatkina in Paris

Kasatkina has not only put together her longest run in a grand slam, she has done so without dropping a set. While it was certainly not all plain sailing in the quarter-final, she showed her strength of character to come through another test in straight sets.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Kasatkina – 16/25
Kudermetova – 38/50

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Kasatkina – 0/3
Kudermetova – 3/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Kasatkina – 5/17
Kudermetova – 4/7

Coco Gauff has finally shed the burden of comparisons to Serena Williams and is enjoying herself at the French Open, where she considers a dual singles-doubles run "light work".

Gauff has long been identified as a future WTA Tour superstar and enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 as a 15-year-old.

The American reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and third round at the US Open, before again advancing to round four at the Australian Open at the start of 2020.

Yet only now, at Roland Garros, has Gauff advanced to a singles grand slam semi-final after beating compatriot Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

Still just 18, she is the fifth woman this century to reach the last four at the French Open before turning 19.

Crucially, too, Gauff is enjoying herself, having struggled to celebrate wins previously as she believed her early-career hype.

"Even at eight years old, [I was] 'the next Serena', 'next this', 'next that', and I think I really fell into the trap of believing that," the teenager said.

"Yeah, it's important that you have high hopes for yourself, but also, at the same time, it's important to be in reality – and I think that's where I am.

"I'm in reality, where I'm enjoying the moment and enjoying the situation.

"I felt like I was to the point where even when I made the second week or beat Naomi [Osaka] at the Australian Open, I remember like I was happy but I wasn't that happy, because I was like 'I feel like that's what I should do'.

"Now, I'm really appreciating each win and loss."

Indeed, Gauff claims she is no longer "looking at the finish line", even considering her upcoming semi-final against Martina Trevisan "just another match".

And "mentally", Gauff says, she is "in a great place".

"I feel like a lot of my losses in the past were due to mental errors of just getting used to being on tour and getting used to playing these intense matches," she explained, adding that now: "I know if I do lose a match it's not going to be because of that.

"I'm okay if it is because of my game, because that's something that I can work on."

That is the plan heading into the Trevisan match, with her only previous meeting with the Italian a defeat at this event two years ago.

Gauff has already shown how she can adjust following defeats, responding to her first loss to Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows in 2019 by beating her at the very next major. Before defeating Stephens this week, Gauff's only previous clash with her was a loss at the 2021 US Open.

"I think it gives me confidence," she said. "Losing to Sloane at US Open and [winning] here, and then losing to Naomi [and then winning], and I lost to Trevisan, so I'm hoping the trend keeps going.

"I think that it helps, because I feel like I know what's going on on the court and I know why I lost the match, and I know what I need to work on for the next time.

"I remember each loss pretty well. I mean, my grandfather always told me: forget your wins; remember your losses. I remember each and every loss.

"So when I play the second time, I try not to lose; at least if I'm going to lose, try not to lose the same way I did the first time."

Even before that match on Thursday, though, Gauff has a doubles quarter-final alongside Jessica Pegula on Wednesday.

"If I felt like I couldn't give 100 per cent in both singles and doubles, then I wouldn't play doubles," Gauff said. "But I feel like I can give 100 per cent all the way to the end.

"The intention for me when I enter the tournament is to try my best to win both. So I know going into that, I'm going to be playing double matches in some days.

"For me, really, I'm used to it; playing juniors, we would play three matches in a day. So this is light work."

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