Gauff, Pegula to face Keys, Townsend in all-U.S. French Open SF; Wagner through to quad SFs
A day before the biggest singles match of her career so far, Coco Gauff was back on court on Day 11 at Roland Garros—when others would've relished a day off—and kept winning. In the women's doubles quarterfinals, Gauff and Jessica Pegula beat Hungary's Anna Bondar and Belgium's Greet Minnen in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, to advance to their first Grand Slam semifinal as a team.
Gauff and Pegula are in pursuit of their second title as a pair this year, having first triumphed together at the WTA 1000 Qatar Total Open in February. Pegula in fact doubled up on Wednesday, putting the disappointment of a 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal loss to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland behind her to rebound on the doubles court.
Gauff will take on Italy's Martina Trevisan on Thursday for a spot in the women's championship, and Pegula's had a front row seat to the teenager's thrilling Parisian run so far. One, she says, that has helped her rise to the moment, too.
"I'm exhausted. She's 18, she's just bouncing around. She doesn't care. ... but I'm like taping my leg like onto my body like trying to keep it together," Pegula joked. "Some people may look and maybe they want to focus more on singles and not be tired and stuff like that, but for me one of my goals was to play with someone and do well this year in doubles.
"A [Grand] Slam for Coco and me is big ... and so I'm happy that I've gone deep in both."
Gauff and Pegula's win guarantees that an American team will play for the French Open women's doubles title: They'll face unseeded Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend in the final four. Keys and Townsend knocked off two seeded teams in their four wins to get this far, twice being stretched to three sets. Townsend last reached a major semifinal at the 2020 US Open alongside Asia Muhammad before going on maternity leave; this French Open is just her fourth tournament at all levels since she gave birth to her son last March.
"I'm super happy for Taylor Townsend. She had a baby, just came back like, literally like 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," Pegula said.
"I played Maddie, with Maddie a few times this year actually in doubles as well. Taylor's an amazing doubles player, Maddie has a big game. She's going to go first shot, serve well, return well, so that will be interesting.
"I think it's just great. I think it's guaranteed American team in the final, which is awesome. And hopefully it's going to be a good semi, it will be fun. We all know each other, we all kind of, well Coco is a little younger but, grew up playing with each other. It will be really fun, I'm excited."
There were mixed fortunes for the other Americans in action on Day 11. Nicole Melichar-Martinez fell just short in her pursuit of a berth in the mixed doubles final, as she and her German partner Kevin Krawietz fell in the semifinals to Norway's Ulrikke Eikeri and Belgium's Joran Vliegen. Melichar-Martinez and Krawietz led 6-1, 5-2, but fell in a match tiebreak, 1-6, 7-6(4), [10-7].
In the wheelchair event, David Wagner exacted a measure of revenge against Brazil's Ymanitu Silva after losing to him twice last month at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup; in 1 hour and 57 minutes, Wagner scored a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory to reach the semifinals. He won't be able to play for a fourth straight quad doubles trophy in Paris, though, after he and Great Britain's Andy Lapthorne were defeated by Silva and his Australian partner Heath Davidson in the semifinals, 1-6, 6-4, [10-8].
A day after scoring the first-ever French Open victory of her career, U.S. No. 1 Dana Mathewson came oh-so-close to her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal in singles. Taking on No. 3 seed and former champion Aniek van Koot, Mathewson won the first set, and was up a break multiple times in the decider, before falling in an epic, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. She and Great Britain's Lucy Shuker will play in the doubles quarterfinals on Thursday.
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