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American teenager Coco Gauff has created history in Paris after reaching the first major final of her career, courtesy of a crushing straight sets win over Italy's Martina Trevisan in the French Open semi-finals.
Gauff dominated Trevisan 6-3 6-1 to become the youngest French Open finalist in 21 years and set up a showcase clash with World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the Roland Garros decider.
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The 18-year-old, who was already in unknown grand slam territory with her first semi-final spot, will next face Polish top seed Swiatek, who cruised into Saturday's final with a 6-2 6-1 demolition of Russian Daria Kasatkina to stretch her winning run to 34 matches.
"I am a little bit in shock right," Gauff, who is also through to the women's doubles semi-final with Jessica Pegula, said. "Honestly, I wasn't nervous going in today which is a surprise."
"Playing Iga, she's on a streak right now obviously, and I think going in I have nothing to lose and she's definitely the favourite going into the match on paper."
"I'm just going to play free and play my best tennis. I think in a grand slam final anything can happen."
Gauff is yet to drop a set in the tournament and is the youngest finalist at any grand slam in 18 years.
Her stunning achievement left tennis fans in a frenzy on social media, with the popular star even getting a shout-out from a former first lady of the United States.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 2, 2022
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) June 2, 2022
Coco Gauff is a GRAND SLAM FINALIST!
The 18 year old American has yet to drop a set at the French Open. She'll face world No.1 Iga Swiatek - who's on a 34-match win streak - on Saturday in the championship tilt
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) June 2, 2022
Absolutely loving the Women’s final set up! Two great young exciting players! Who also happen to be two of THE nicest young ladies you will meet !!! Let’s bring it @iga_swiatek @CocoGauff @rolandgarros
— Rennae Stubbs OLY (@rennaestubbs) June 2, 2022
At just 15 years old, Coco Gauff broke onto the world stage by beating Venus Williams at Wimbledon.
Today, at just 18 years old, the young Floridian is into her first Grand Slam final here at #RolandGarros.
Will face #1 Iga Swiatek in the final on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/aT1Uh1QG8Q
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 2, 2022
Coco Gauff to play Iga Swiatek in French Open final
The American got off to a slightly shaky start and needed time to find her range, trading two early breaks with Trevisan.
Once she found a way to neutralise the left-hander's punishing forehand, however, Gauff breezed through the first set by winning the last three games.
"I had to be more patient," Gauff said. "Being American I grew up hitting like this and hitting hard and I had to remind myself this is not the one to attack.
"I played her two years ago I and I lost against her and I know how difficult it is to play against her," she said.
The 28-year-old Trevisan, bidding to become the lowest ranked finalist in the event's history, took a medical break to strap up her right calf.
But things only got worse for her as she piled up 36 errors in total with Gauff stepping in to whip her backhands deep and move her opponent around.
Ranked 23rd in the world, Gauff broke her again in a game lasting 14 minutes to go 3-1 up and never looked back, sealing her biggest career victory on her first match point.
"If I do lift the trophy, honestly, I don't think my life is going to change really," Gauff said. "I know it sounds kind of bad to say that, but the people who love me are still going to love me regardless if I lift the trophy or not."
Gauff will a job on her hands to beat Swiatek, who is looking to match the longest women's winning streak of the 21st century - Venus Williams' 25 straight wins in 2000.
"I'm so grateful to be in this place and you know, be healthy and be able to play my game. It's amazing and I love playing here," said Swiatek.
"Right after my first year there was COVID and I was not able to see how many Polish people would come. It's overwhelming."
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