Just a short while ago, Coco Gauff made a big impact when she was only 15 years old by beating Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019.
Time continues to pass and on Saturday, it was Gauff who had more experience on the court as she earned a hard-fought victory against 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva. The match showcased the skills of two of tennis’ brightest young stars.
The American initially lost the first set in a tiebreak, but managed to defeat Andreeva in the following two sets, ultimately securing a 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-1 victory to progress to the fourth round of the French Open.
“We trained together this week,” stated 19-year-old Gauff, as reported by the Guardian. “I’m not sure if it affected the outcome of the match, but in tennis, it’s all about making adjustments.”
“Today’s match was going to be a tough one, but she has earned her spot and will continue to excel.”
According to the WTA, Andreeva achieved a milestone by becoming the youngest player since 2005 to make it to the third round at Roland Garros during her 16th birthday celebration in April.
During the initial 65 minutes of the game, it appeared that Andreeva could maintain her impressive progress with an unexpected win. She relentlessly targeted Gauff’s weaker forehand with powerful first serves and ultimately won the set’s tiebreak.
Despite being young, Gauff has participated in multiple French Open tournaments and made it to the final in the previous year. With this knowledge, she adjusted her tactics, improved her second serve, and utilized her strong backhand to ultimately outsmart Andreeva.
Gauff will now face the unseeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova for a place in the tournament’s quarterfinals.
In other parts of the women’s tournament, current title holder and top-ranked player Iga Swiatek advanced to the fourth round with a dominant 6-0 6-0 victory over China’s Wang Xinyu. However, world No. 4 Elena Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the French Open due to an upper respiratory illness.