Unseeded Trevisan to face Gauff in semi

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Martina Trevisan, a 28-year-old unseeded Italian who made her tour debut more than a decade ago, has reached her maiden grand slam semi-final in the French Open.

There she will face teenaged American Coco Gauff, a quarter-finalist in Paris last year, but also playing her first grand slam semi-final.

The 18-year-old comprehensively beat her compatriot Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open winner, 7-5 6-2.

Gauff largely kept her nerve when it mattered as her more experienced opponent faltered at key moments.

In the other semi it was the teenager who lost, Trevisan, the world No. 59, beating 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez, the 17th seed, 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.

In defeating the Canadian Trevisan became the first Italian woman to reach the last four at Roland Garros since Sara Errani in 2013.

Trevisan needed two hours and 21 minutes to win. The match could have been much shorter but Trevisan wavered when serving at 5-4 in the second.

Fernandez thus pushed the set to a tiebreak that she won to become the first player to take a set off Trevisan at Roland Garros this year, but it was a brief respite.

"I felt a little nervous on the first match point. But afterwards I accepted the situation to be close to a semi-final. I realised it was normal to feel that way," Trevisan said.

The Florentine, who spent four years away from tennis to battle an eating disorder, said winning her first career title in Rabat right ahead of Roland Garros helped.

"The trophy in Rabat was very Important, it was an incredible week. I came here with a lot of confidence."

Gauff, 18 and ranked 23 in the world, had problems on her serve, double-faulting six times, including on crucial points, but stayed composed.

Having slipped from 5-2 to 5-5 in the first set Gauff won eight points out of nine to take it. She was then broken again serving at 5-1 in the second, but once more immediately broke herself to claim the set, and the match.

"I feel so happy right now, words can't explain," Gauff said.

Looking ahead to the semi-final Gauff, who lost to eventual winner Barbora Krejcikova in the last eight last year, said: "I think it's just another match, to be honest. I feel like last year I was looking at the finish line, and now I'm not looking at anything really except that ball in front of me.

"I believe in myself. But last year I was too focussed on trying to fulfil other people's expectations, it's just enjoy life, in life in general, your results, your job, how much money you make doesn't define you as a person. If you love yourself, who cares what anyone else thinks?"

Adding of her pride in graduating from school while in Paris she said: "Sometimes we think tennis is the most important thing in the world, and it's not. So getting my high-school diploma meant a lot to me.

"I know how hard it was to do school and play tennis on the road,"

With agencies

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