Coco Gauff displayed sheer dominance and was unforgiving in her US Open quarterfinal match against Jelena Ostapenko, only conceding two games. The match could have posed a challenge for the young American, but she confidently prevailed.
Ostapenko, despite struggling with inconsistency, was anticipated to challenge Gauff’s chances for the title after a strong performance in New York. However, she was swiftly defeated 6-0 6-2 in just over an hour.
Gauff has once again taken her game up a level this season – in particular during the second half of the year – as the 19-year-old continues her ascent to tennis stardom.
Gauff showcased her improvements in her match against Ostapenko, using strong ground strokes to counter her opponent’s power. She also demonstrated precise and consistent play, which Ostapenko struggled to match.
The progress in Gauff’s physical abilities has been evident to everyone at Flushing Meadows, but the sixth-ranked player in the world provided a glimpse into the development of mental strength needed to succeed in long matches at major tournaments.
She explained to the reporters that it varies for each individual and is a matter of trial and error. From my own experience, I have found that during these moments, I should not place too much stress on these games. When competing in tournaments, there is always pressure.
“I have noticed that the competition at this level can be quite intense and there is always a desire to come out on top. Over time, I have learned techniques to handle this pressure more effectively. Some individuals are naturally able to do so when they enter the tour, while others may need to develop these skills.”
“I believe that experiencing both successes and challenges is an inevitable aspect of life and learning. This is why it can be difficult for someone to consistently maintain a high level of achievement, as they may not have previously encountered such circumstances.”
“As I have become more familiar with this role, I have gained valuable skills in managing it.”
My life is full of good fortune.
The pressure will increase even more as Gauff prepares to compete against Karolína Muchová in the US Open semifinals on Thursday.
When competing in a home grand slam, a player receives a lot of attention. However, Gauff has shown remarkable maturity and has not seemed to struggle under the pressure of high expectations.
The young adult acknowledges that this was not always the situation and learning to manage stress as she does now was a gradual process.
Gauff mentioned that one of the most beneficial factors in that process was gaining a new perspective on life when she began to feel overwhelmed.
Initially, I would often have negative thoughts,” she remembered. “I would question why there was so much pressure and why things were so difficult. But then I came to the realization that while there may be pressure, it’s not the same as the struggles that others are facing. There are people who are struggling to provide for their families, who don’t know where their next meal will come from, and who have to prioritize paying their bills.”
“I am facing genuine pressure, enduring real challenges, and experiencing the realities of life. I am fortunate to be in a privileged position where I am paid to pursue my passion and receive support for it. This is something that I am truly grateful for.”
Gauff expressed that living in New York has given her a clearer perspective on life, especially in comparison to her hometown. She acknowledges her fortunate life and plans to make the most of it.
“I am aware that there are countless individuals who aspire to be in my current position. Instead of questioning why I am here, I should focus on embracing it and asking myself, ‘Why not me? Why am I not fully appreciating this?’.”
Gauff expressed her current enthusiasm for playing tennis, and this can be seen in her performance on the court. She shared, “I reminded myself to simply enjoy the experience.”
Her charm and humor also shine through in her interviews and press conferences, making Gauff even more likeable to fans in the US and beyond.
According to Gauff, it is beneficial to not dwell on the outcome and instead prioritize enjoying the experience.
“I am fortunate to be living a blessed life. I am mindful not to take it for granted,” she shared. “This realization has helped me put things into perspective and truly appreciate the blessings in my life.”