Debutant French Open quarterfinalist Coco Gauff expresses delight and confidence

17-year-old Coco Gauff will make her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance at the 2021 French Open tomorrow. The American youngster also won the junior title in Paris in 2018.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff

World No. 25 Coco Gauff reached her first quarterfinal of a Grand Slam by comfortably beating Tunisian player Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-1 in the fourth round in Paris yesterday. The American sensation is yet to drop a set in Paris and with most top-ranked players out of the competition, her chances of going further deep into this year’s Roland Garros is making headlines.

Gauff who is 17 years and 86 days old, is now the youngest woman to reach the last eight of a Slam in the singles since Nicole Vaidisova, who was 17 years and 44 days old when she played in the French Open quarter-finals in 2006.

“It means a lot to me, especially that I have lost in the fourth round a couple of times. So it feels to get over the hurdle. Today I played probably my best match of the tournament,” Gauff said at the post-match press conference.

“She has been having a great clay season and she is a tough opponent. She is a smart player. Also an awkward player to play all parts of the court. She has done well in singles and doubles. But I am just going to go out there and focus on my game.”

The young American broke onto the scene at 2019 Wimbledon after beating Venus Williams. The then 15-year-old reached the fourth round and further made headlines. She is already being billed as the future of women’s tennis.

Gauff has been dominant on the clay in 2021

Cori "Coco" Gauff
Cori “Coco” Gauff

Gauff has been one of the best players in the women’s game on clay this season. After reaching the quarterfinals in Charleston, Gauff did make a first round stumble in Madrid. However, the 17-year-old recovered to find her momentum back and made the finals in Rome, before she was beaten by reigning French Open winner, Iga Swiatek.

On her way to the finals, Gauff had beaten, Ashleigh Barty, Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka. The American’s breakthrough came in Parma ahead of the French Open, when she won the title in Italy. Gauff only dropped one set on her way to the final and comprehensively beat Qiang Wang in the finals. She next faces experienced Czech Barbora Krejcikova in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. It is also not to be forgotten that Gauff has also won the junior title at Roland Garros in 2018.

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