- Guaff sweeps to victory in 67 minutes
- American teen reaches second Grand Slam semi
- Muchova wins convincingly to set up Gauff clash
American teenage sensation Coco Gauff is on a remarkable journey at the 2023 US Open, where she has reached the semi-finals for the first time in her career. In a commanding display, Gauff dispatched the 20th seed from Latvia, Jelena Ostapenko, with a resounding 6-0, 6-2 victory that lasted just 67 minutes. This triumph marks a significant milestone in Gauff’s Grand Slam career, as she has often struggled with emotional fatigue in previous major tournaments. Reflecting on her improved mental resilience, the 19-year-old American remarked, “Now I’m physically fresh and emotionally fresh, and I think that just came from experience.”
16 wins from 17 since Wimbledon for Gauff
Gauff’s path to the semi-finals has been very impressive, and she now sets her sights on another formidable opponent, Karolina Muchova, the French Open runner-up. A win in the upcoming match would propel Gauff into her second major singles final, mirroring her achievement at the 2022 French Open, where she was ultimately defeated by Poland’s Iga Swiatek.
This year, Gauff has exhibited a renewed aura of confidence and determination, which has translated into exceptional results. Her resurgence followed a challenging first-round exit at Wimbledon, after which she made some crucial coaching changes. With the guidance of her new coach, Pere Riba, and consultant Brad Gilbert, a renowned figure in tennis coaching with experience working alongside legends like Andy Murray and Andre Agassi, Gauff has transformed her game. Since her early July defeat at Wimbledon, she has recorded an impressive 16 wins out of 17 matches, showing she has been able to learn and adapt.
Brad Gilbert’s influence on Gauff’s game extends beyond tactical adjustments. He has encouraged her to find joy in her tennis journey, emphasising the importance of smiling on the court. Gauff reflected on this shift in mindset, saying, “I thought to play and win you have to be ultra serious and ultra focused….but also you still have to enjoy it. I think that’s what’s been the change is that I’m having more fun.” Gilbert’s coaching philosophy, focusing on both performance and enjoyment, appears to be paying off for Gauff, as her results have consistently improved since their partnership began.
Muchova, the 10th seed from the Czech Republic, secured her place in the semi-finals with a commanding 6-0, 6-3 victory over Sorana Cirstea of Romania. Muchova’s journey to the semi-finals is a testament to her resilience, as she was ranked 235th in the world when she played at Flushing Meadows the previous year, recovering from an injury setback. This year, she arrived at the US Open as a top-10 player and has demonstrated remarkable ease in her victories.
As she looks ahead to her semi-final clash against Gauff, Muchova exuded confidence and determination, stating, “Unbelievable. This is a really sweet victory. Incredible. I want to enjoy this win and then I will try to put up a battle against Coco.” The clash between Gauff and Muchova promises to be an exciting encounter.
Aryna Sabalenka, who will be confirmed as world number one after the tournament, is favourite and the bookies are split on their choice as second favourite between Guaff and Muchova. At the time of writing bet365 have Sabalenka at 15/8 with Guaff at 8/5 and Muchova 9/2.