Gauff defeats Trevisan to reach French Open final; Krajicek to play for men's doubles title
In the biggest moment of her tennis career thus far, American No. 18 seed Coco Gauff swept unseeded Italian Martina Trevisan in Thursday’s second women’s singles semifinal at the French Open, 6-3, 6-1. The 18-year-old Delray Beach, Fla. native now advances to her first major final, where she will face Poland’s world No. 1 Iga Swiatek on the Court Philippe-Chatrier this Saturday afternoon.
At 14 years old in 2018, Gauff claimed the French Open junior title. Four years later, she’s now a (very) recent high school graduate just a single win away from scoring one of her sport’s four biggest titles.
Gauff is the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam women's singles final since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2004.
In a post-match interview with Tennis Channel, Gauff mentioned how she brought a new mindset to Paris this year: “Just staying calm, really. That's been my motto this week. Staying in the moment, and being present, and just enjoying it while it lasts.”
She added, with a laugh: “I think I’m having a great graduation week. I don't know if anyone else is in a Grand Slam final that graduated this year, but I'm super happy."
Headed into the final, Gauff still has yet to surrender a single set this tournament. But she faces an uphill battle this weekend: Mere hours before Gauff’s match, Swiatek notched a 34th consecutive win this season with a decisive 6-2, 6-1 semifinal victory over 20th seed Daria Kasatkina. Swiatek now owns the most back-to-back-to-back wins since Serena Williams in 2013.
Gauff and Trevisan both appeared nervous during the first half of their semifinal’s opening set, which saw each player double fault and exchange multiple breaks of serve. But Guaff found a relatively consistent groove at 3-3, breaking her lefty opponent once again for 4-3 lead.
The American maintained her serve to widen the gap, then cleaned up with a fourth break point conversion to take the opener, 6-3.
In the second set, Trevisan needed one point to hold serve and level the scoreboard at 2-2. Instead, she ripped the ball into the net and a protracted back-and-forth battle at deuce lasted over 10 minutes. Trevisan belted shots left and right—landing winners and unforced errors in equal measure—before Gauff eventually converted her fifth break point for 3-1.
With the clear advantage, Gauff seemed more confident as she employed looser, more aggressive shotmaking. The American sped through the final three games to become the youngest American to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Serena Williams at the 1999 US Open.
Gauff is the first female U.S. player to reach the French Open final since Sofia Kenin in 2020. The only other American female player not named "Venus" or "Serena" to reach the final in 20 years is Sloane Stephens, in 2018; Gauff swept a now-unseeded Stephens in Tuesday’s quarterfinal, winning 7-5, 6-2.
Read more at usta.com: Gauff's run to the final, by the numbers
Fresh off Thursday's victory, Gauff competed in an all-American doubles semifinal on Friday alongside Jessica Pegula. Pegula, seeded 11th in singles, saw her solo campaign end on Wednesday when Swiatek swept her in straight sets in their quarterfinal. Gauff and Pegula are seeded eighth in doubles, and after beating unseeded compatriots Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend, 6-4, 7-6(4), will also play for that championship.
USTA Player and Coach Development general manager Martin Blackman lauded Gauff's achievement by crediting her steady progress. "Reaching the finals of Roland Garros is an indication of the commitment that Coco, her parents and her team have made to the process of getting better," he said. "The focus on long-term development reflected in her training block after last year's US Open and during the pre-season break are paying dividends, and it speaks to her growth mindset and the visionary guidance of her parents."
Trevisan, 28, started 2022 ranked world No. 112. She will almost certainly crack the Top 30 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday. The semifinal marked her first loss following 10 straight victories; she won her first-ever title last month at a clay-court WTA 250 event in Morocco.
But Gauff wasn't the only American to reach the French Open final with a victory on Thursday. Thirty-one-year-old left-hander Austin Krajicek, from Tampa, Fla., reached the men's doubles final alongside his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig with a 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 upset of No. 4 seeds Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers. The win was the unseeded team's third against a seeded pair this fortnight, and third overall from a set down; in Round 3, they saved multiple match points to knock off No. 1 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.
Krajicek, ranked No. 34 in doubles, has come into his own on tour in the last year-plus. He starred at Texas A&M University from 2008-11, where he was a four-time doubles All-American and won the NCAA national doubles title with Jeff Dadamo in 2011.
Last summer, Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren just missed the podium in Tokyo, but he and Dodig are unbeaten in their last nine matches; the won the title in Lyon in the week prior to Roland Garros.
"We're just getting better every day. Hopefully, we can stay on that path. Our game styles match very well and we get along great, so it's been a great partnership," Krajicek told reporters after the win. "Horacio and Marcel are great players ... They played amazing in the first set and a half, and into the second-set tiebreak, I thought we played pretty well. We just tried to stay focused on our side and take care of our serve. I think we played well at the big moments towards the end of the match. It was great.
"I feel fantastic. It was a tough match obviously the other day against Rajeev, who's one of my good buddies, as well, from the U.S. We obviously saved some match points, and it was a battle. Today, same thing, two great players. I thought we played a good match in the third set, played well on the big moments, for sure."
The pair will take on No. 12 seeds Marcelo Arevalo of Guatemala and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands in men's doubles championship.
The 2022 French Open women's championship will be played on Saturday, June 4. NBC and Peacock Premium will air live coverage of the final in the U.S. on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. An encore will air later in the day on Tennis Channel.