Coco Gauff declared she “didn’t feel comfortable at all” during her straight-set demolition of Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals of the 2023 US Open.
Former world No 4 Tim Henman described the world No 6’s performance as “incredible” and praised her ability to “nullify” the firepower Ostapenko possesses.
Gauff crushed the world No 21, who upset defending champion Iga Swiatek in the previous round, 6-0, 6-2 in an hour and nine minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Cincinnati champion, who is now on a 10-match winning streak, stormed through the opening set in just 20 minutes for the loss of only seven points.
The 19-year-old is through to the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time in her career. The American will face either Sorana Cirstea or Karolina Muchova.
In her on-court interview, Gauff expressed her delight at the achievement but remained fully focused on the work ahead.
“It feels great. I’m so happy. Last year I lost at the quarter-final stage, I wanted to do better this year. I still have a long way to go, but I’m happy and I’m ready to get back to work for the next one!,” said the world No 6.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable at all, the whole match – even when up the match points. I know the game she plays, she has the ability to come back, no matter the scoreline. I was just trying to play every ball, trying my best to be as aggressive as I could. She is a tough player, she had a great tournament.”
GAUFF IS ON FIRE!
16 minutes gone and the American leads 5-0
— Sky Sports Tennis (@SkySportsTennis) September 5, 2023
Speaking to Sky Sports, former US Open semi-finalist Henman lauded the 19-year-old’s display.
“It was an incredible performance. We talked a lot about the matchup and the firepower of Ostapenko. Coco was able to nullify that, Ostapenko just made so many mistakes,” explained the Brit.
“But judging by that reaction from Coco, she knew what a threat Ostapenko was, so she’ll be absolutely delighted to come through so easily.”
Johanna Konta, another former world No 4, suggested why Gauff may not have felt comfortable even in such a convincing win.
“It’s such an incredible achievement. Seeing Gauff’s face at the end of the match, you could definitely feel a sigh of relief,” said the three-time major semi-finalist.
“Although the scoreline would argue that this must have been straight-forward, against a player like Ostapenko it’s never going to feel easy. But she played the right way, doing the right things to make it impossible for Ostapenko.”
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