Coco Gauff’s hopes for home glory end with her US Open defeat to Caroline Garcia

Coco Gauff’s hopes for home glory end with her US Open defeat to Caroline Garcia

Coco Gauff’s hopes for home glory end with her US Open defeat to Caroline Garcia

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Coco Gauff’s dreams of a Grand Slam breakthrough at home stopped on Tuesday night in the US Open quarter-finals against fit Caroline Garcia.

Garcia, the No. 17 who was the hottest player on the women’s tour all summer, took the game by the scruff from the start and didn’t give up with a simple 6-3, 6-4 win over 12th-seeded American for reaching his first career major semifinal just weeks before his 29th birthday.

“My head is just buzzing,” said Garcia, who has extended a streak of 13 straight wins and joined Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce as the only French women in the pro era to reach the bottom four at Flushing Meadows. “I don’t know how to describe it.”

Garcia was off to a great start before most of the late arriving New York crowd had even sat under the enclosed roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium, breaking Gauff in his first two service games.

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Stepping all the way to baseline on Gauff’s first serve and more than a foot into it on second, Garcia put pressure on his teenage opponent with hot returns deep into the field and sharp, angled baseline jabs on both. the wings at the beginning of the points.

From there Gauff was able to get his teeth into the match by mixing up his serve speed, resuming one of the breaks and playing the opening on an equal footing. But it wasn’t enough to make up the difference when Garcia calmly responded to the pressure points on his serve with one screaming winner after another to close the first after 45 minutes.

After beating Gauff again to open the second set, Garcia began zipping through his serve games, offsetting an uneven 52% first serve percentage with more ferocious ball hits and denying his opponent any chance of engaging the serve. partisan public. He only faced one break point for the rest of the course until Gauff sent a backhand into the net at the match point after 1 hour and 37 minutes.

It was the last peak of a recovering season for 28-year-old Garcia, who had finished 75th until mid-June but has since thrived under new manager Bertrand Perret, winning three events on three different surfaces. He will enter Thursday’s semi-final against fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur after winning 18 of his last 19 games, including a run to his first WTA 1000 title in five years last month in Cincinnati that featured wins over the No. 3 Maria Sakkari, n. Sabalenka and No. 8 Jessica Pegula.

“I’m just trying to focus on my game, what I like to do, how it’s the best way for me to play tennis,” said Garcia, who had lost each of his previous two fights against Gauff, both this year. “The path is very clear right now, in which direction I have to go, under stress, under pressure. I’m just trying to go this route. This is how we prepare with the team. We try to do our best in this direction ”.

Gauff, the precocious 18-year-old from Delray Beach, Florida, who reached the French Open final in July, has failed to become the youngest American to reach the US Open semifinals since 1999, when Serena Williams broke through for the first of his 23 major single titles.

“I think it was really about his level of play,” Gauff said. “You’re playing with someone out of range, they are at the top of the baseline and they rip balls, it’s not easy. He has the kind of play you have to adapt to because it seems to me that he is not hit and miss because he definitely does more, but you are doing a good serve and sometimes you don’t expect the ball to do it back as fast and deep as it was hitting it.

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