Coco Gauff falls to Caroline Garcia in US Open quarterfinal

Coco Gauff falls to Caroline Garcia in US Open quarterfinal

Coco Gauff had charged through the US Open until she hit a brick wall in Caroline Garcia.

The No. 17-seeded Frenchwoman was virtually insurmountable in the quarterfinal matchup inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday night, which led to a definitive 6-3, 6-4 win over Gauff to secure her first ever major semifinal berth. After extending her winning streak to 13 matches and still refusing to cede a single set this tournament, Garcia will face the No. 5-ranked Ons Jabeur of Tunisia on Thursday.

While this run to the quarterfinal marked her personal best at the Open, Gauff missed out on a prime opportunity in a wide-open women’s singles bracket. Sometimes it’s just due to your opponent, and this was certainly one of those instances.

“I feel I didn’t play at the level I needed to come out with the win today,” said Gauff, who had won both of her previous matches against Garcia. “Overall, I’m super proud of myself on this tournament — but I’m hungry for more. So maybe next year.”

Coco Gauff reacts in frustration during her 6-3, 6-4 loss to Carolina Garcia in their US Open quarterfinal match.
USA TODAY Sports

Gauff could only break Garcia once as the 28-year-old posted a 77 win percentage on first serves throughout the match. However, it was Garcia’s ability to put the ball where she wanted that separated the two. Plus, in addition to her six double faults, Gauff put up just 18 winners to her 24 unforced errors.

In quickly establishing the upper hand from the baseline, Garcia blasted a down-the-line winner on one 17-stroke volley in the opening set. She was successful at the net as well, winning 13 of 16 points up front to crush Gauff’s hopes of becoming the youngest American woman in the US Open semifinals since Serena Williams did it when she was 17 and won her first major title in New York in 1999.

“I just go for my shots,” Garcia said during her on-court interview, “Even when I’m stressed.”

Gauff looked uncharacteristically uninspired in the first set, which saw the teenager fall behind 4-0 and ultimately drop her first one of the tournament. Committing twice as many double faults as Garcia (4-2), Gauff didn’t have the usual oomph to her serve. While the crowd was behind Gauff, the teenage phenom never really gave the fans much to get excited for.

Caroline Garcia celebrates during her quarterfinal win over Coco Gauff.
Caroline Garcia celebrates during her quarterfinal win over Coco Gauff.
Reuters

But this has been Garcia’s year. She’s won three titles on three surfaces in three months, including the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati. Having defeated five top-20 opponents this summer alone, Garcia has also only relinquished 27 games through five rounds so far at the Open.

“I think it was all her,” Gauff said. “I mean, today, the warm-up, I had probably one of the best warm-ups I had this tournament. I was hitting the ball really clean. You play, you’re playing someone off the bat, they’re standing on top of the baseline and ripping balls, it’s not easy.

“She has the type of game that you kind of have to adjust to, because I feel like it’s not hit-or-miss, because she definitely makes more. But you’re hitting a good serve, and sometimes you’re not expecting the ball to come back as fast and as deep as she was hitting it. I think it’s really about her level of play.”

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