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Coco Gauff Tops Sloane Stephens to Reach First Major Semifinal at Roland Garros

18-year-old Coco Gauff reached her first major semifinal at Roland-Garros. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Trampolining high off the terre battue, Coco Gauff exploded in a series of kangaroo jumps on the changeover.

Even when the ball wasn’t in play, Gauff was going places today.

A dynamic Gauff bounced 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens out of Paris 7-5, 6-2 soaring into her first Grand Slam semifinal in just her 11th career major.

The 18-year-old Gauff has not surrendered a set in five tournament wins charging into her first singles semifinal since Adelaide last January.

Apart from a three-double fault game she won holding for a 4-1 second-set lead and a pair of back-to-back double faults she hit failing to serve out the match at 5-1, Gauff played a confident, controlled and complete match.

“I just stay composed,” Gauff told Tennis Channel’s Jon Wertheim afterward. “I mean I got a little nervous in the 5-1 game because I realized how close I was to the finish line.

“But I think that changeover I just told myself focus on the moment and the point in front of you.”

Moving with more energy and competing with more urgency, Gauff targeted Stephens’ two-handed backhand wisely throughout the match, made several outstanding gets to extend points and backed up her second serve with more belief. Gauff won 11 of 13 points played on Stephens’ second serve and converted six of 10 break points avenging a 6-4, 6-2 loss to the 2017 US Open champion in the Flushing Meadows second round last summer.

The 23-ranked Gauff will take on 59th-ranked Italian Martina Trevisan for a spot in Saturday’s final.

Earlier, Trevisan squandered a match point at 5-4 in the second set, but shrugged it off with a decisive third set defeating 17th-seeded Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-3 in 2 hours and 21 minutes.

The 28-year-old Italian scored her 10th consecutive victory advancing to her first Grand Slam semifinal in her eighth major appearance. Trevisan fired 43 winners stopping the US Open finalist, who took treatment for a foot injury, to reach the final four two years after she made her maiden major quarterfinal as a qualifier in Paris.

“I like the fight. I like the adrenaline,” Trevisan said. “I like the moment before I get in the court, because there was a lot of energy. So that’s all things that make you alive, you know. So I like it so much.”

In their lone prior meeting, a 159th-ranked Trevisan topped a 16-year-old Gauff in three tight sets, 4-6 6-2 7-5, in the 2020 Roland Garros second round played in the fall.

Warmer weather should mean higher-bouncing conditions in the rematch which figures to favor Gauff, who has used her speed and high-bounding topspin forehand to displace opponents this French fortnight.