17-year-old Coco Gauff was knocked out of the French Open quarterfinals after a straight-sets loss to Barbora Krejcikova at Roland Garros.
Gauff, who has been in brilliant form that saw her through to her first Grand Slam quarterfinals, was unable to take any of the five set points she created in the opening set.
The World No. 25 suffered a dip in form and went 5-0 down in the second set. However, she worked hard to make a spectacular comeback and save five match points but Krejcikova was able to settle her nerves and finish the job 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.
The two Grand Slam quarterfinals newcomers were a bundle of nerves in the beginning as Krejcikova took time to find her feet while Gauff charged forwards to lead 3-0 and then 5-3.
The American teenager then went 6-4 up in the tie-break, before Krejcikova settled and passed the nerves onto Gauff. The Czech player showed superb resilience to erase further set points against her and then snatch the set out of Gauff’s hands.
Gauff dipped in form in the second set as her error count increased considerably, and she struggled to get back winning games.
After a double fault left her 4-0 behind, she smashed her racket on the court. Gauff showed tenacity to at least get on the scoreboard and at that point, Krejcikova started to feel the weight of the occasion.
Three match points came and went at 5-1, the last an open-court backhand that Krejcikova put wide.
When Gauff saved two more match points and held for 3-5, it seemed like a dramatic turnaround might be on the cards, but Krejcikova was able to take the spoils at the sixth time of asking.
“In Strasbourg I was relieved that I was enjoying games and now I’m here and I’m in the semi-finals,” she said with a smile after the contest.
“I never imagined that I’d be here and playing on this court one day, especially in singles, and being able to win. Already for me, this is something I’ve dreamed of.”
Meanwhile, Krejcikova will face either the defending champion Iga Swiatek or the 17th seed Maria Sakkari in her first ever Grand Slam singles last four.