By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday August 14, 2020
16-year-old Coco Gauff continues to prove she belongs with the tour’s top players as she powered past Ons Jabeur in three sets to reach the Lexington semis.
Photo Source: Mark Peterson/Corleve
The new normal hasn’t changed Coco Gauff’s old trend.
The 16-year-old American continues to power her way through top flight competition and deep into WTA draws. Nothing changed on Friday as Gauff battled past No.8-seeded Ons Jabeur, rallying from 6-4 4-2 down to claim a hard-fought 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory and a spot in the semifinals at the Top Seed Open in Lexington.
What’s her secret in tight matches?
“I think it’s just endurance,” Gauff said after improving her lifetime record in third set to 9-2. “I mean I’m younger than most of my opponents. I think for the most part [my success in three-setters is due to] endurance. I’m used to playing in hot weather – even though today wasn’t hot, towards the evening – and also, I do two a days a lot.”
— wta (@WTA) August 14, 2020
Gauff sets up a semifinal with American Jennifer Brady on Saturday at Lexington. Brady, who powered past Marie Bouzkova 6-1 6-2, has dropped just 11 games in three matches in Kentucky.
Gauff, who has played just 25 tour-level matches in her career, improves to 18-7 lifetime and 8-2 on the season. She defeated World No.11 and second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the second round to improve her lifetime record to 3-3 against the Top 20.
“I’m always going to fight, no matter what, and try my best, no matter the score,” Gauff said in a post-match virtual press conference.”The biggest thing was mentality. Even though I wasn’t playing the way I would’ve liked, I think staying strong and positive definitely kept me in the match today.”
Gauff has never played Brady before, but she’s spent some time on the practice court with the former UCLA Bruin.
“We’ve practiced together either last year or a year-and-a-half ago, a couple of times. She obviously has a heavy ball and a good serve, and she’s going to take her chances,” Gauff told reporters. “I’m just looking forward to it, to be able to play and to get a different playing style than today. I know she likes her forehand, so we’ll see what happens.”
Semifinal Saturday @TopSeedTennisKY:
Rogers vs. Teichmann
Brady vs. Gauff
Brady and Teichmann through to the SFs without the loss of a set. #TSOpen
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 15, 2020
In the top half of the draw American Shelby Rogers will face Switzerland’s Jil Teichman for a spot in the final. Rogers knocked off Serena Williams in a third-set tiebreaker to become the first player ranked outside of the Top 100 to defeat Williams in over eight years.
Teichman toppled American CiCi Bellis 6-2 6-4.