The first week of the US Open was all about Serena Williams and deservedly so. However, the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s exit has put the attention back on several players who delivered spectacular tennis through the early rounds. One of those is American Coco Gauff.
The French Open finalist played a night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Caroline Garcia of France. The No. 17 seed has been on a roll, winning the hard court warm up tournament in Cincinnati and making it through the first four rounds without dropping a set. This is a match up that’s been anticipated since the draw came out. However, it did not live up to everyone’s competitive hopes, as Garcia beat Gauff 6-3, 6-4 in a very one-sided affair.
While Garcia hasn’t played on Ashe this year, all of Coco’s matches have been on the show court, and she is the unquestioned fan favorite. The 18-year-old phenom has been very dominant in New York, so expectations are higher for her than they’ve ever been.
The match began with a few early nerves from Gauff, which led to multiple unforced errors. These mistakes and trouble with her first serve gave Garcia a quick 4-0 lead. This was a completely different Coco than we’ve seen in this tournament. Honestly, I can’t remember when I’ve seen her out of sorts like this.
Coco was able to fight back, even garnering a service break, but ultimately Garcia cruised to a 6-3 first set win.
Unfortunately, the second set didn’t start much better. Garcia forced Coco to play her game, controlling the pace and taking on a more aggressive role. To her credit, Gauff kept fighting and was able to catch the French player off guard a few times. Things did not get better for the No. 12 seed, as Caroline had an answer for everything Coco threw at her.
Quite frankly, Garcia just outplayed Gauff. She stepped on court with a game plan and executed it perfectly. Coco was on her back foot right from the start and never recovered.
Caroline Garcia heads to the semi-finals to play Ons Jabeur, while Coco goes home to regroup for the last few tournaments of the season.