No.7 seed Coco Gauff won the first grass-round quarterfinal of her career, defeating No.4 seed Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes in the first house on Friday.
Gauff of America lost her only previous meeting to Wimbledon runner-up Pliskova last year, as well as losing her last four matches against players ranked in the top 10.
But that all changed on Friday as world number 13 Gauff, who recently reached her first singles final at Roland Garros, battled four set points in the first set en route to a win over seventh seed Pliskova.
Words from the winner: “I’m very happy with the way I played today,” Goff said afterwards. “Playing her on the grass, with her serve, how well she hits the ball, it was really hard to be honest. I had to come up with two different styles of the game that I don’t usually use, but sometimes it is.
“The first semi-final match on the grass is really great, and I also feel that the opponents I’ve played with this week have not been easy, especially today, so I’m proud of myself for that.”
Match moments: In the opening game 5-4, Pliskova hit a stunning forehand on the line to take two set points. But Gauff used excellent serve and masterful slides to fend off those two as well as two more chips, before holding out for 5-5 after a 15-minute match.
Gauff’s determination paid off immediately, as she broke Pliskova in the next match with a backhand. Goff maintained the momentum at 6-5, serving the group in love.
Czech Pliskova, who was playing her first game against the top 20 players of the season, started the second set with a 2-0 lead, but Gave quickly slipped his serve with a passing winner.
Another long game at 4-4 went down Gough’s way, where she managed to convert her fourth break point and grabbed a chance to take the win. The 18-year-old American seized the opportunity, slamming her fifth Ace champion that day to end the match.
Jaber fights Sasnovich
Gauff’s semi-final opponent will be top seed Ons Jabeur, who came back from a set and broke to win 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 over Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a nearly two-hour quarter-final.
World number 38 Sasnovich has now pushed Jabeur into three sets in each of their three meetings, but Jabeur has taken the lead in all of those encounters.
Jaber, who is currently ranked No. 4, has won 28 matches so far this season, more than any player other than world number one Iga Swiatek.
On Friday, Jabeur outperformed Sasnovich by 19 to 15, and had six fewer non-forced errors than Sasnovich.
Sasnovic rebounded from 5-2 down in the first set, eventually dropping the final four points of the tiebreak to take the one-set lead. And Sasnovic Jaber broke in the first half of the second set as well.
But Jaber turned the game around from there, finding deep and powerful returns to capture six of the next seven games and claim the second set. Jabeur broke the open third set with a 4-2 break and continued from there, firing the Tweener for good measure in the last game.
face to face: Gauff has won three of her four encounters with Jabeur, but this will be her first encounter on grass. In their last match, Gaufe knocked out Jaber in the round of 16 in 2021 at Roland Garros.
More is coming…