NEW YORK: The 19-year-old Coco Gauff of the United States stormed past No. 20 seed Jelena Ostapenko to seal her maiden entry into the women's singles semifinals at the US Open here on Tuesday.
Gauff came up with a dominant display as she defeated Ostapenko 6-0,6-2, extending her win streak to 10 matches on Tuesday. Gauff thus became the first American teenager to reach the semifinals here since Serena Williams did it in 2001.
It was a battle between two form players. Ostapenko had caused a major upset in the fourth round by beating world No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Gauff has now won 16 of 17 matches in 35 days.
Gauff committed to chasing every ball down from the start. Desperate to make anything work, Ostapenko tried going for an uncharacteristic drop shot on break point in her next service game; Gauff sprinted up to the ball and easily put it away to break again. She claimed the first set in just 20 minutes.
Though Ostapenko put up a slightly better performance in the second set, it did not start on a good note as Gauff broke her serve in the first game itself.
But the Latvian, who became the third woman in history to win four straight three-set matches to reach the US Open quarterfinals, produced some good winners. She broke back immediately and held for the first time, and even earned a break point opportunity at 3-2.
Gauff held her serve, then broke Ostapenko again as the No.20 seed began to spray her shots again. She capably came back from a 0-30 deficit on her final service game and hit an incredible forehand winner to end a 17-shot rally to become a first-time US Open semifinalist.
“I’m so happy,” Gauff said in her on-court interview. “Last year I lost in the quarterfinals. I’m happy and ready to get back to work on the next one.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable at all during the match – even on the match points. It’s tough against her because you can’t really be aggressive,” she added.