Gauff 'in shock' after soaring into maiden Slam final

Teenage American drops just four games to deny unseeded Italian Trevisan

Coco Gauff Roland-Garros 2022©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Dan Imhoff

Coco Gauff is one step away from realising a teenage dream in Paris, surging home on Court Philippe-Chatrier to advance to her maiden Grand Slam final on Thursday.

The 18th seed denied Italian Martina Trevisan to become the first woman since Kim Clijsters in 2001 to reach the final of Roland-Garros.

Yet to drop a set in just her third Paris campaign, the 18-year-old defied early nerves to avenge a defeat to her 2020 conqueror, 6-3, 6-1, and set a final showdown with world No.1 Iga Swiatek.

The Italian provided one of the most heart-warming stories of Roland-Garros two years ago when as a 139th-ranked qualifier she reached the quarter-finals before eventual champion Swiatek ended her breakout spell.

Trevisan denied Gauff in the second round of that run and added seeded victims Maria Sakkari and Kiki Bertens to her list.

The 28-year-old Florentine had rediscovered some of that form as she entered her first Grand Slam semi-final on a 10-match winning streak, following a maiden title in Rabat.

Gauff’s focus had narrowed since a first major quarter-final in Paris a year ago.

It never shifted beyond winning the next match rather than going all the way these days.

It had served her well through five previous rounds and did so again.

Story of the match

Gauff made a more nervous start as she netted a volley and made a poor drop-shot attempt before salvaging her opening service game.

Two double faults and a wild forehand hooked wide cost Trevisan an early break but with her opponent somewhat rattled by a line-call disagreement, she could not consolidate.

The Italian lefty was not overawed and pegged back the break each time.

But after five successive games in which neither could hold, Gauff finally bucked the trend.

Momentum was tough to secure but had ultimately shifted when Trevisan’s 22nd unforced error surrendered her fourth straight break and with it, the opening set after 44 minutes.

After eight and a half hours on court since the start of the tournament – 90 minutes more than her younger rival – Trevisan called for the trainer to treat her upper right leg.

Martina Trevisan, Roland-Garros 2022, Simple Dames, 1/2 Finale, Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

Further strapping was applied at the subsequent sit-down but the 28-year-old hung on through sheer grit.

She unfurled a backhand passing shot to fend off a break point at 1-2 and there was nothing wrong with her anticipation forward as she glided in and flicked a forehand winner off a drop shot.

Both arms raised rallied an expectant crowd eager for more.

After a 15-minute struggle the break finally went Gauff’s way after she flattened a backhand winner for 3-1.

If any impending anxiety was in store as she closed on her biggest moment, the teenager ensured an added buffer when she secured a double-break.

Those nerves from the opening exchanges were nowhere to be seen.

Gauff never wavered as drop shot and lob winners carried her to match points before Trevisan sent a backhand long after an hour and 28 minutes.

Key stats

A superior serving display proved pivotal for Gauff as she claimed 74 per cent of first-serve points to her opponent’s 46 per cent. Her 47 per cent success rate on second serves was 15 per cent better.

While the American’s 14 winners were only one more than Trevisan's, she was far less erratic, committing 16 fewer unforced errors.

Of Trevisan’s 36 mistakes, she misfired 27 times off the forehand wing.

What the winner said

“I think I'm a little bit in shock right now. I didn't know how to react after the match… For me it's a little bit difficult because when I play players like her you have to be more patient.

“Being American, I grew up hitting hard and sometimes I had to remind myself this is not the one to attack. Martina, I played her two years ago and lost to her so I knew how difficult she is to play, especially on clay.

“I think I'm in a mindset now, like, it doesn't matter. I'm going to be happy regardless (of what happens in the final). My parents are going to love me regardless. I'm just going to go into it as another match.

“Yeah it's a Grand Slam final but there are so many things going on in the world now, especially in the US, a lot of things going on right now, so I think it's not important to stress over a tennis match.”