Pegula rooting for Gauff clean sweep

American duo advanced to women’s doubles semi-finals and will face compatriots Keys and Townsend

Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff, Roland Garros 2022, doubles quarter-finals© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Jessica Pegula shrugged off a Roland-Garros singles exit to battle into the women’s doubles semi-finals alongside teen sensation Coco Gauff.

The 28-year-old was out-manoeuvred 6-3, 6-2 by world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the singles last eight, before heading to Court Simonne-Mathieu to combine with her fellow American Gauff to take down Anna Bondar and Greet Minnen 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Pegula has a very clear message for her partner – go get it!

“I told her, ‘Freaking semis in singles and doubles, we need the final of both, then go for the sweep’. That would be awesome,” declared the world No.11, suggesting her compatriot could go all the way in both disciplines in Paris.

“I think so. She loves clay, not surprised that she's in the semis. I'm sure she really wants to at least get to the final and win this next match. 

“Not that (Martina) Trevisan is bad, but I think it's a great opportunity as in she's not playing like a seed that she's lost to before or anything. She definitely did a really great job of working through her draw pretty elegantly, not having too many crazy matches and getting the job done. That's going to give her confidence.”

Considering everything Gauff has already accomplished in the game, it’s very easy to forget that the world No.23 is still a teenager.

“How old is she? 18, 19? It's just ridiculous,” quipped Pegula. "I feel like she's been 18 for like five years. I'm like, ‘Coco, you're like a veteran’.

“She has so much time, so I hope she doesn't get too stressed out about that either, because I'm sure she will have many more chances. But, yes, we're definitely hoping she gets to that final and then hopefully in doubles too.”

Pegula and Gauff have lined up a stars and stripes semi-final, taking on Madison Keys and returning mom Taylor Townsend.

“How exciting. At Roland-Garros, Four Americans. Wow!” beamed Pegula.

“Super happy for Taylor Townsend. She had a baby, just came back, literally a few tournaments ago. Just awesome for her. She's a sweet girl. She came to my wedding. I have nothing but good things to say.

“I played Madi a few times this year actually in doubles as well. Taylor's an amazing doubles player, Madi has a big game, so that will be interesting.

“Coco is a little younger, but we grew up playing with each other, so it will be really fun, I'm excited.”

Taylor Townsend, Madison Keys, Roland Garros 2022, doubles third round© Remy Chautard/FFT

The ardent home support had plenty to cheer about earlier on Wednesday.

Formidable Frenchwomen Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, champions here together in 2016, emphatically moved past 13th seeds Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan 6-3, 6-3 to return to the semi-finals.

"We are very happy. We did pretty well today, we were really aggressive until the last point. There was so much support from the first point. It gives extra energy in crucial moments,” said Mladenovic, who also won the doubles title with Timea Babos in 2019 and 2020.

Garcia was thrilled by the inspirational atmosphere on her cherished home courts.

“That's why we are lucky to play in Roland-Garros. We have a great experience in doubles, together. We find our automatisms back and it leads to good matches."

The home combination advanced for an encounter with 14th seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and 2017 singles champion Jelena Ostapenko.

In the men’s doubles event, Croatian veteran Ivan Dodig is chasing his second Roland-Garros title.

The 37-year-old, partnering Austin Krajicek, inched past top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 3-6, 7-6(9), 7-6(12/10) for a semi-final ticket.

Dodig and Krajicek will target the final up against fourth seeds Marcel Granollers (2014 finalist here) and Horacio Zeballos.

In the bottom half of the draw, a high-quality clash is expected between 12th seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer taking on 16th seeds Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop.

Ivan Dodig, Austin Krajicek, Roland Garros 2022, men's doubles quarter-finals© Cédric Lecocq/FFT