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Gauff Reaches Maiden US Open Quarterfinal vs. Red-Hot Garcia

Coco Gauff of the United States reacts against Shuai Zhang of China during their US Open fourth-round match. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Beneath the closed Arthur Ashe Stadium roof, Coco Gauff showed there is no ceiling to her pulsating all-court skills.

Roland Garros runner-up Gauff repelled Zhang Shuai 7-5, 7-5, advancing to her first career US Open quarterfinal.

The 12th-seeded Gauff broke in the 11th game of both sets before serving out her first trip to the Flushing Meadows last eight.

The 18-year-old Gauff set up a quarterfinal clash vs. Cincinnati champion Caroline Garcia.

“She’s obviously a great player, even though she’s had ups and downs,” Gauff said of Garcia. “I think right now she’s playing probably the best tennis. I think she’s playing the best tennis she’s played in a long time.

“It’s going to be a challenge. When you play these players that are hot, I think it’s more of a mental challenge. You just got to accept she’s going to hit some great shots, because I know she will.”

Gauff said knows she must show both acceptance and aggression against Garcia.

Gauff said knows she must show both acceptance and aggression against Garcia.

“I think my mentality has been great. I played I feel like two similar opponents, Maddie Keys, who can hit some unbelievable shots from the wings” Gauff said. “Same with Shuai today. She was hitting some great shots. I think I was doing a good job of accepting it, clapping my hands, moving on to the next point. I think I’m going to have to do that for the next match.”

On adjacent Louis Armstrong Court, a streaking Garcia rolled through eight of the final nine games dismissing Alison Riske 6-4, 6-1 reaching her maiden US Open quarterfinal.

It is Garcia’s 12th consecutive victory and at WTA-best 29th win since Wimbledon.

“I’m so excited to be in the quarters in the US Open,” Garcia told Blair Henley in her on-court interview afterard. “It’s a great couple of weeks for me.

“I’m trying to play aggressive and go for my shots even when I’m tight or even when I don’t feel it. It’s how I improved so much the last couple of months and I really enjoy playing like that, moving forward, and I’m having fun yeah.”

Two-time Roland Garros doubles champion Garcia dictated play with her serve and forehand combination. After finishing her serve motion, Garcia frequently side-stepped a few feet to unload her heavy forehand.

Formidable first-strike tennis saw Garcia smack 16 forehand winners compared to one for Riske, who struggled to take that stroke down the line in the face of Garcia’s formidable attack.

Former world No. 4 Garcia will try to sustain this roll—and reach her first career singles semifinal. Gauff has beaten Garcia in both prior meetings, including a 6-2, 7-6(3) victory in Doha earlier this year.