Sunday, June 16, 2024
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2024 French Open: Coco Gauff vs. Iga Swiatek, Mirra Andreeva vs. Jasmine Paolini set in women’s singles

The 2024 French Open women’s semifinals are set, and all eyes are currently on World No. 1 Iga Swiatek as she chases her third consecutive title at Roland Garros. She is undefeated in this tournament since 2021, but American star Coco Gauff — the new World No. 2 — will be looking to change that. 

“I’m just going to go in and try to win,” Gauff said. “I have nothing to lose, all the pressure is on her.”

This will be a rematch from the 2022 French Open final, when Swiatek earned a 6-1, 6-3 victory. They have faced each other 11 times, and Swiatek has a 10-1 advantage in their all-time series — including 4-0 on clay. Their last meeting was in May at the Italian Open semifinal, which Swiatek won 6-4, 6-3. 

“I have to find a better way to play her than the last times I’ve played on clay, because I’ve obviously been unsuccessful the last couple times regardless of the surface,” Gauff said. “She is definitely a tough opponent for me and anybody. I think for me, I’ll just have to go back and watch and try to find what I have to do. I think she is playing great tennis here so it’s going to be a challenge. I’m going to go into the match with a lot of belief that I can.”

The 22-year-old from Poland is entering this battle with 17 consecutive wins in clay matches, including trophies in Madrid and Rome. Even men’s World No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz recently referred to her as “the best player in the world.”

Swiatek shook off the upset scare against Naomi Osaka in the second round, and saw the shortest tour-level match of her career when she took down Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0 in just 40 minutes during the fourth round. She later earned her ticket to the semifinal with a 6-0, 6-2 win against Marketa Vondrosova. Meanwhile, Gauff made it here after a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ons Jabeur. 

The other women’s semifinal matchup will be between unseeded Mirra Andreeva and No. 12 seed Jasmine Paolini. This is the first time for both players making it this deep in a Grand Slam. Andreeva is fresh of a 6-7(5-7), 6-4, 6-4 upset against Aryna Sabalenka, and at 17 years old, she is now the youngest woman to make a major semifinal since Martina Hingis in 1997.

Gauff has been on the spotlight for a while now and just turned 20 years old in March, so she had some advice for Andreeva.

“The only advice I think is stay in the moment,” Gauff said. “Believe that you can make it but don’t think about the end. Sometimes you hear the world ‘final’ and you just think you are so close… It’s a long career that she will have. I think she will have a successful one and she is obviously a great player doing so many good things young. Hopefully she can continue here.”

Andreeva has been a fun dark horse to watch, but Paolini should also not be underestimated. The Italian star stunned World No. 4 Elena Rybakina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 during the quarterfinals. At 28 years old, Paolini is having a breakout season and will be making her debut in the WTA Top 10 next week. 

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