Teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff just did something no American has done since Venus Williams almost 25 years ago

Advertisement
Teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff just did something no American has done since Venus Williams almost 25 years ago
Coco Gauff.Getty/Tim Clayton-Corbis
  • Coco Gauff just became youngest woman in 15 years to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
  • The 17-year-old cruised into the French Open last eight with a straight sets win over Ons Jabeur.
  • Gauff is the youngest American to reach a Slam quarterfinal since Venus Williams in 1997.

Teenage phenom Coco Gauff became youngest woman in 15 years to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal, and the youngest American in almost 25 years to do so, as she cruised into the last eight of the French Open.

The teenager beat Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-1 in just 53 minutes on Monday to book her place in her first ever major quarterfinal.

At 17 years and 86 days old, Gauff is the youngest player to make a Slam quarterfinal since Nicole Vaidisova at the 2006 French Open. She is also the youngest American to reach the quarterfinal of a Slam since Venus Williams at the 1997 US Open.

Advertisement

"It means a lot to me," Gauff said after the match.

"I have lost in the fourth round a couple times, so it feels good to get over that hurdle. Today I played probably my best match so far in the tournament."

The American, who is yet to drop a set at Roland-Garros, added: "I feel like all my matches have been, I don't know how to say it, but straightforward wins, like no crazy three sets and stuff. As we know, I have had a lot of those in the past.

Advertisement

"I just feel like this has been the most consistent tennis I have played at this level. Hopefully I can keep that going."

Gauff faces unseeded Barbora Krejčíková in the last eight on Wednesday, with a place in the semis at stake.

Should she make the last four, Gauff would face either 17th seed Maria Sakkari, or eighth seed Iga Swiatek, the highest-seeded player left in the women's draw.

Advertisement
Teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff just did something no American has done since Venus Williams almost 25 years ago
Novak Djokovic.Getty/Tim Clayton-Corbis

Elsewhere in Paris in Monday, men's world number one Novak Djokovic survived a huge scare to make it into the last eight, coming from two sets down to beat Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti.

Djokovic lost the first two sets via tie breaks to Musetti, however rallied to win the next two 6-1, 6-0.

The Serbian was then leading 4-0 in the decider when Musetti retired through injury.

Advertisement

"I like to play young guys in the best-of-five because even at two sets down, I feel I still have my chances," Djokovic said after the victory.

"I have won most of my five-setters and that experience helps. It's unfortunate for him to have to retire but I could see he was struggling physically."

Musetti, despite stomach cramps and back pain forcing him to withdraw, said he was grateful for the experience of playing against the world's best player.

Advertisement

"It was a fantastic experience. I was playing, I think, my best tennis. I have never played like today," he said.

"Of course I'm a little bit disappointed but I played against the number one in the world and I took the first two sets. He started to play really good and then I had some problems with my physical part. I think I have to work there."

Djokovic faces ninth seed Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinal on Wednesday, with a win likely setting up a semifinal clash with Rafael Nadal, who is looking to win his 14th Roland-Garros title.

Advertisement

If Nadal does so, he will become the most-decorated player in men's Grand Slam history.

{{}}