Coco Gauff Looks Forward to Next Time After French Open Loss

 

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer

PARIS (AP) — Greatness has been anticipated of Coco Gauff since she was a child, taking part in in — and profitable — junior occasions. The Floridian continues to be younger, after all, reaching her first Grand Slam closing on the French Open at age 18.

After seeing up shut what it takes to be a significant champion in a 6-1, 6-3 loss to top-ranked Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros on Saturday, Gauff was sad in regards to the consequence, sure, but additionally decided as ever to preserve striving, preserve bettering, and be much more prepared subsequent time.

Because Gauff is definite there shall be a subsequent time.

“I really feel like, all through my profession, and even in juniors, the explanation I had success so early is that I used to be ready to see that stage after which return and follow and check out to attain that stage. Now that I’ve seen the extent — this stage of No. 1 and 35 matches (received in a row by Swiatek), I do know what I’ve to do,” Gauff mentioned. “I’m certain I’m going to play her in one other closing and, hopefully, it’s a distinct outcome.”

 

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Gauff, who whiled away idle time in the course of the match by taking part in card video games along with her mother and father, was the youngest French Open finalist since Kim Clijsters in 2001, and was making an attempt to turn into the youngest Slam title winner since Maria Sharapova was 17 at Wimbledon in 2004.

This was the eleventh main match of Gauff’s nascent profession and her first journey previous the quarterfinals.

She’s been on the radar of everybody in tennis for some time, although, even since earlier than she received the junior title at Roland Garros at 14. That was adopted, in 2019, by her massive breakthrough at Wimbledon when she was 15, changing into the youngest participant to qualify for the ladies’s draw there, then beating seven-time main champ Venus Williams within the first spherical and getting to the fourth earlier than dropping to eventual champion Simona Halep.

There has been regular progress since — an increase to No. 15 within the rankings (she is now No. 23, however will get to No. 13 after her run in Paris), two WTA titles, 100 match wins on tour, greater than $3 million in prize cash — and a need for extra.

“I need to congratulate you, since you’re doing a tremendous job. I can see that each month you’re progressing on a regular basis, mainly,” the 21-year-old Swiatek advised Gauff throughout Saturday’s trophy presentation. “When I used to be your age, I had my first yr on tour, and I had no concept what I’m doing. So you can find it and you may be there, I’m fairly certain of that.”

The maturity Gauff shows on the courtroom has been seen off it, as effectively, whether or not in her dedication to lecturers — she celebrated her highschool commencement by posing for cap-and-gown pictures close to the Eiffel Tower earlier than the French Open — or her willingness to communicate out about societal points. After her semifinal win Thursday, a very powerful triumph of her profession to date, Gauff had the wherewithal to write, “Peace. End gun violence” on a courtside TV digital camera lens, a reference to the current spate of mass shootings within the United States.

On Saturday, Gauff didn’t show her finest tennis.

Swiatek, who has received her previous six tournaments and now owns two trophies from Roland Garros, wouldn’t enable it.

Gauff had damaged her earlier six opponents over the previous two weeks a complete of 35 occasions. Against Swiatek, Gauff managed just one break level. Often rushed by Swiatek’s early strikes, Gauff made 23 unforced errors, in contrast to simply 14 winners.

“It in all probability appeared like I used to be freaking out,” mentioned Gauff, who will play within the ladies’s doubles closing alongside American Jessica Pegula, “however actually, it was simply Iga was too good.”

When it ended, there have been tears from Gauff as she sat on her changeover chair, then once more when she acquired her runner-up {hardware} and, later, throughout her information convention. She mentioned there have been comparable reactions from members of her group, together with a youthful brother who attended the ultimate.

“I used to be making an attempt to simply inform him: ‘It’s only a tennis match.’ I’m like, ‘Why are you crying?’ I’m like, ‘I’m crying, too, I do know. Everybody’s crying,’” Gauff mentioned. “I wished it so dangerous for myself, and I do know they wished it so dangerous for me.”

Able to see the massive image, and optimistic about her future, Gauff figured the frustration would move.

“Tomorrow, and even tonight, we’re going to play playing cards once more,” she mentioned, “and we’re going to snigger and we’re going to be effective.”

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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