Spirited Gauff comes back to overpower Jabeur and reach French Open semi-finals


Spirited Gauff comes back to overpower Jabeur and reach French Open semi-finals

Coco Gauff is into the final four
Coco Gauff is into the final fourReuters
American third seed Coco Gauff (20) fought back to beat fan-favourite Ons Jabeur (29) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday and become the first player to reach the French Open semi-finals.

Jabeur was roared on by a Tunisian contingent on Court Philippe-Chatrier as Gauff dropped the opening set, but the American grew in confidence in the second and stamped her authority in the third to reach the semis for the second time.

"She's a tough opponent, she's well-loved on tour and I could tell by the crowd today. I know you guys wanted her to win," reigning US Open champion Gauff said.

"Honestly, whenever she's not playing, I cheer for her too. So thank you guys for making it a good atmosphere. I like playing in environments like this.

"Even when I lost the first set and they were chanting when I was in the bathroom, I was like, 'This is just really fun', win or lose."

Key match stats
Key match statsFlashscore

The pair matched each other blow for blow in the opening set, whether it was rallying from the baseline or coming into the net.

In an eight-minute game at 3-3, however, Jabeur finally converted a break point and the Tunisian hit a purple patch on serve as Gauff had no answer to her pinpoint winners and drop shots.

Roared on by her fans, Jabeur made it 5-3 in a flash and nearly broke Gauff again before wrapping up the set on serve, sealing it with a searing ace.

Gauff grew in confidence in the second set, however, especially on serve where she consistently went over 200 km/hr, while Jabeur faltered as the American converted all three break point opportunities to force a decider.

"I was definitely trying to be more aggressive. She was playing really well the whole match," Gauff added.

"She was hitting a lot of winners on me, which is something I'm not used to against anybody. So today I was just trying to be aggressive towards the end."

Gauff carried that momentum into the third set and consolidated a break to go 4-1 up as Jabeur's forehand deserted her.

Although Jabeur had her moments, with her risk-for-rewards shot-making, she could not cut out her unforced errors as Gauff sealed victory on serve when the Tunisian's volley went wide.

Gauff will next meet top seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek - who ended her French Open hopes in the 2022 final and last year's quarter-finals.


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