Coco Gauff was eliminated in the U.S. Open quarterfinals by on-fire Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.
Garcia earned her 13th consecutive match win, sweeping the 18-year-old American 6-3, 6-4 to set a Thursday semifinal with Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.
Gauff completed her 2022 Grand Slam schedule by earning a place in the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time. The year’s highlight — other than graduating virtual high school — was her French Open runner-up. She became the youngest major finalist since Maria Sharapova won 2004 Wimbledon and remains the youngest player in the top 100.
She was bidding Tuesday to become the youngest American to reach a U.S. Open semifinal since a 17-year-old Serena Williams lifted the trophy in 1999.
“I didn’t tell anyone, but I didn’t think it was going to be that good of a tournament for me,” said Gauff, who retired from her last match with an injury before the U.S. Open.
Her next big target is the WTA Finals the first week of November in Fort Worth, Texas.
“After this I’ll have some time to reflect,” she said. “I don’t have any tournaments for a while, so I’ll try to reflect on the season as a whole.”
Garcia is the first Frenchwoman to make a semifinal at any major since Marion Bartoli‘s stunning run to the 2013 Wimbledon title. This run comes five years after Garcia’s previous major quarterfinal appearance.
Since, Garcia rose to No. 4 in the world in 2018, then plummeted as low as No. 79 three months ago. She was one of two women to reach the top four of the world rankings and never make a major semifinal (Magdalena Maleeva).
Garcia, at age 17 touted by Andy Murray as a future No. 1, had a losing record for 2022 going into the first tournament of the summer.
She has since won titles on three surfaces and defeated six consecutive top-20 opponents. She gets another one Thursday in the fifth seed Jabeur, who swept Serena Williams vanquisher Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 7-6 (4) earlier Tuesday. Garcia could join Gauff in the top 10 next week.
“The path is very clear right now, which direction I have to go, under stress, under pressure,” she said. “I’m just trying to follow this path.”
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