The 19-year-old, for the most part, had a pretty easy time at the Australian Open this year so far, but that changed in the quarter-final against Marta Kostyuk. It was a somewhat complicated matchup, and it took her three hours to beat the Ukrainian in three sets 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-2.
Part of that was Gauff playing less well than she had before that match, and it was pretty evident in the post-match press conference that she wasn't particularly thrilled by that. It's actually funny because former player Jimmy Arias said recently that Gauff is the only player who can win her 'B game'.
That match was literally her winning a match that she could have easily lost. The only difference is that she actually called this performance her 'C game', which makes it kind of even more impressive.
"It was a fight. I think today was definitely a C game, so didn't play my best tennis but really proud that I was able to get through today's match. Hopefully got the bad match out of the way and I can play even better."
It's pretty bad news for her opponents as well, because she's already scary when playing at her best. If Gauff goes up another level or two, and we know she can, that's just bad news for the rest of the field.
"Today was frustrating because I knew how I needed to play. I just couldn't execute. Eventually I was able to find it, which is what I'm proud of."
Many assume that only Aryna Sabalenka can beat her, and it might be true. That's the US Open final we saw a few months ago, and it was a win for Gauff back then.