17-year Coco Gauff became the youngest woman to reach Grand Slam


PARIS: Coco Gauff 17-year-old became the youngest woman to reach a Grand Slam last eight since 2006. She swept to an impressive 53-minute, 6-3, 6-1 win over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

At just 17, she is the youngest woman to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam since Nicole Vaidisova who made the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2006.

Gauff is also the youngest American woman to book a place in the last eight in Paris since Jennifer Capriati in 1993.

In a composed performance on Court Philippe Chatrier, the American teenager, seeded 24, broke her Tunisian opponent three times without facing a break point herself.

“I am super happy to reach my first Grand Slam quarter-final. I played really well,” said Gauff who has yet to drop a set and also learned she had claimed a place on the American team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Gauff, who famously raced to the Wimbledon fourth round in 2019 as a 15-year-old qualifier, faces Barbora Krejcikova for a place in the semi-finals.

The 33rd-ranked Czech also reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-0 win over 2018 runner-up and former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

However, last year’s runner-up Sofia Kenin, the fourth seed, was knocked out by Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-3 as the Greek also made the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time.

The world number 18 will face either reigning champion Iga Swiatek or Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk for a place in the last four.

Sakkari broke Kenin six times as the 2020 Australian Open winner committed 32 unforced errors and served nine double faults.

“I’m speechless. I love Paris. I’m having a great time and I don’t want to leave anytime soon,” said Sakkari.

Argentine 10th seed Diego Schwartzman reached his third French Open quarter-final with a 7-6 (11-9), 6-4, 7-5 win over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

Schwartzman, who will face either Nadal or Sinner, saved seven set points in the first set as he rallied from a 5-1 deficit against the 42nd-ranked Struff.

Swiatek, the only top 10 seed left in the women’s draw, has not dropped a set at the tournament in her last 10 matches.

Kostyuk, ranked 81, made her breakthrough at the 2018 Australian Open.

Just 15 at the time, she became the youngest player to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since 1997.

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