Coco Gauff’s hopes of reaching a first Grand Slam semi-final ended after a straight-sets loss to Barbora Krejcikova at Roland Garros.
Gauff has been in brilliant form on the clay and had cruised through to her first slam quarter-final, but she was unable to take any of the five set points she created in the opening set.
After that, the 17-year-old suffered a dip in form and went 5-0 down in the second set. Although Gauff showed her tenacity to claw games back and save five match points in the process, Krejcikova was able to settle her nerves and finish the job 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.
Krejcikova, who has never reached a Grand Slam singles semi-final before, will meet either the defending champion Iga Swiatek or the 17th seed Maria Sakkari in the last four.
The quarter-final victory extends her winning run to 10 matches, having secured the title at the Internationaux De Strasbourg before arriving at Roland Garros.
🔟 match win [email protected] secures her place in her first Grand Slam semifinal in singles 👊#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/cUbhAoFSY3
In the first set, unsurprisingly, the two first-time grand slam quarter-finalists displayed patches of nerves.
As Krejcikova took time to find her feet, Gauff charged forwards to lead 3-0 and then 5-3.
The teenager then went 6-4 up in the tie-break, before Krejcikova settled and passed the nerves onto Gauff. The Czech player showed superb resilience to erase further set points against her and then snatch the set out of Gauff’s hands.
At the start of the second set, Gauff’s disappointment was clear for all to see. Her error count increased considerably, and she struggled to get back winning games.
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After a double fault left her 4-0 behind, she smashed her racket on the court. Gauff showed tenacity to at least get on the scoreboard and at that point, Krejcikova started to feel the weight of the occasion.
Three match points came and went at 5-1, the last an open-court backhand that Krejcikova put wide.
When Gauff saved two more match points and held for 3-5, it seemed like a dramatic turnaround might be on the cards, but Krejcikova was able to take the spoils at the sixth time of asking.
Barbora Krejcikova’s Road to the #RG21 Semis:
d. Kr.Pliskova, 57 64 62
d.  Alexandrova, 62 63
d.  Svitolina, 63 62
d. Stephens, 62 60
d.  Gauff, 76 63
Faces Swiatek or Sakkari.
“In Strasbourg I was relieved that I was enjoying games and now I’m here and I’m in the semi-finals,” she said with a smile after the contest.
“I never imagined that I’d be here and playing on this court one day, especially in singles, and being able to win. Already for me, this is something I’ve dreamed of.”
With either Swiatek or Sakkari awaiting Krejcikova next – and the two athlete’s duel being played directly after on Court Philippe-Chatrier – Krejcikova admitted that she would be glued to the contest.
“I watch all the matches now because I just enjoy watching matches and I think it’s a lot of fun.
“I’m going to watch for sure, also I just can’t wait to come back. I feel really happy here and I’m looking forward to playing again. I’d be looking forward to playing today, if there was a match!”
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