Gauff Battles To First Australian Open Semifinal In Over Three Hours

Gauff Battles To First Australian Open Semifinal In Over Three Hours

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Coco Gauff is into her maiden Australian Open semifinal after fighting through in over three hours against Marta Kostyuk.

The US Open Champion played superbly in her opening four matches. She did not drop a set in any of those contests, and has been praised by Martina Navratilova for her maturity, despite being just 19-years-old.

Some did feel that Gauff had a somewhat easy path to the fourth-round. But the American was still impressive in all those victories, and Gauff said did not feel uncooked despite the draw she had been given.

Kostyuk undoubtedly presented the two-time Grand Slam finalist's biggest challenge of the tournament so far. She had played great tennis to reach a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal, including dropping just three games in the last round.

It looked set to be a quality match. However, what transpired was a very scrappy and tense opening two sets.

Kostyuk did not look comfortable from the start, and yet, she somehow found herself with a 5-1 lead. Gauff was far below her usual supreme standard and made many unforced errors, particularly with her forehand.

The Ukrainian could not capitalize, though. Gauff saved one set point at 5-2, and Kostyuk's level imploded to leave herself trailing 6-5. But the American was still not playing well, and she lost serve to take the set to a tiebreak.

A huge moment came at 6-5 to Kostyuk. The 21-year-old had a golden chance to take the set on her forehand but missed the opportunity. Gauff then won the tiebreak and the set, despite hitting five winners and 24 unforced errors in the set.

The second set was similarly scrappy to the first but there were a few more flashes of excellence from both players. Gauff hit a couple of trademark backhands and Kostyuk pummeled some huge forehands after struggling a lot off that wing in the opening set.

Gauff recovered to lead by a break after being broken herself in the opening game of the set, but Kostyuk fought back to win another of the 19-year-old's service games, with neither player able to seize the advantage.

The momentum swings continued. Gauff broke to serve for the match at 5-3 but then lost the next two games. A long service game followed at 5-5 for the US Open champion, but she managed to battle through it.

A Kostyuk hold brought up another tiebreak, and the American's game suddenly collapsed. The Ukrainian won it 7-3 to set up a decider. At that point, it was hard to call a winner.

However, Gauff suddenly ran away with the match in the decider. She cut down on the unforced errors and began to serve better. By contrast, Kostyuk looked exhausted in the hot Melbourne conditions and could not compete.

Kostyuk did win two games from 5-0 down to make the scoreline more respectable, but Gauff was not to be denied. She managed to come through 7-6 6-7 6-2 after a very lengthy battle.

Coco Gauff vs Marta Kostyuk Match Stats:

Coco Gauff Marta Kostyuk
1 Aces 2
9 Double Faults 8
54% First Serve % 51%
59% (38/64) Points Won After First Serve % 54% (35/65)
39% (21/54) Points Won After Second Serve % 41% (26/63)
41% (9/22) Break Point Conversion 50% (7/14)
17 Winners 39
51 Unforced Errors 56


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