Prodigy now not? Gauff makes breakthrough in Paris at 17

PARIS — If Coco Gauff retains taking part in like this, she’s going to go from teenage prodigy to Grand Slam champion in a rush.

The 17-year-old American fully overwhelmed Ons Jabeur in a 6-3, 6-1 victory on the French Open on Monday to turn into the youngest girl to succeed in the quarterfinals at any Grand Slam match in 15 years.

Gauff misplaced solely 9 factors on her serve and was additionally extremely efficient on the web, successful 13 of 17 factors when she got here ahead — which was particularly spectacular towards a participant who is thought for her shot-making abilities.

“I really feel like this has been probably the most constant tennis I’ve performed at this stage,” Gauff mentioned. “Hopefully I can hold that going.”

Gauff will will subsequent face Barbora Krejcikova, who additionally reached her first quarterfinal at a serious by beating 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens with a equally lopsided rating — 6-2, 6-0. Additionally advancing was Seventeenth-seeded Maria Sakkari, who eradicated final 12 months’s finalist Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-3. Later, defending champion Iga Swiatek was taking part in Marta Kostyuk.

“She’s younger, she’s superb, she’s developing. She’s going to be the following star,” Krejcikova mentioned of Gauff.

Gauff additionally had a fast match within the earlier spherical, when Jennifer Brady retired with an injured left foot after Gauff received the opening set.

Jabeur mentioned Gauff is a contender to lift the trophy — both this 12 months or sooner or later.

“If she’s not going to win it now, she’s in all probability going to win one other time,” the Tunisian mentioned.

It wouldn’t be the primary time Gauff claims a title at Roland Garros, having received the ladies’ singles title in 2018.

Gauff already introduced herself as a contender to turn into the following nice American participant when she made a run to the fourth spherical at Wimbledon as a 15-year-old qualifier two years in the past. Now, having gone one step additional, she grew to become the youngest American to succeed in a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Venus Williams did it at 17 on the 1997 U.S. Open.

“I’m solely going to be 17 as soon as, so that you would possibly as properly discuss it whereas I’m 17,” Gauff mentioned.

Gauff has not dropped a set in Paris this 12 months. She received each the singles and doubles titles at a warmup match in Parma earlier than coming to Paris. That got here after a run to the semifinals of the Italian Open.

In all, she’s on a career-best nine-match successful streak.

“Parma gave me lots of confidence, particularly on the clay,” Gauff mentioned. “It taught me lots about find out how to shut out matches and cope with the stress on essential factors.”


Precisely 40 years to the day after Bjorn Borg received the final French Open match of his profession for his sixth title in Paris, his son, Leo, received his very first junior match at Roland Garros.

For Leo, it’s already too late to match his father’s precocity. Aged 18, Leo has but to win knowledgeable match on the principle tour. Bjorn Borg had simply turned 18 when he received his first French Open title.

“I used to be having a tough time once I was a bit youthful,” Leo mentioned when requested in regards to the enormous expectations linked to his identify. “Now I’m getting used to it, I can management it extra. However it’s going to be following me all my tennis profession. It’s not bothering me.”

Leo began taking part in tennis when he was 6 years previous however mentioned he didn’t prepare critically till he was 14 when he stop soccer. He made his skilled debut in February final 12 months and mentioned his “lowest aim” is now to make it to the High 10 sooner or later.

After spending three weeks coaching on the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain final 12 months, he returned to Sweden to work together with his long-time coach on the Royal Tennis Membership. His father sometimes offers him a number of suggestions however doesn’t get combined up together with his son’s coaching.

“The most effective recommendation he gave me is to have issues organized,” he mentioned. “To have all the things in life organized.”

Along with his six Roland Garros titles, Bjorn Borg additionally received 5 instances on the Wimbledon grass. After initially being drawn to hard-court tennis, Leo mentioned his finest floor goes to be clay as a result of it is higher suited to his sport.

On Monday, he progressed to the second spherical of the boys’ match with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Max Westphal. Their match on Court docket 14 drew followers cheering loudly for each gamers.

“It was a fantastic crowd, very loud, and a fantastic feeling,” he mentioned.

Leo’s father will arrive in Paris later this week and {the teenager} hopes he’ll nonetheless be within the fray at that stage in order that Bjorn — who celebrated his sixty fifth birthday this week — can watch him play.


Dampf reported from Rome.


Extra AP Tennis: and—Sports activities

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