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COCO CLAIMS 12TH STRAIGHT MAJOR WIN TO REACH AO SEMIS



19-year-old Coco Gauff is into the last four in Melbourne after a 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-2 triumph over Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk – in an error-filled contest on Rod Laver Arena.

 

Heavily favoured coming in, Gauff was put under immediate pressure, as Kostyuk took two break point opportunities to gain a 5-1 first-set lead.

 

Facing such a deficit for the first time in the tournament, the American found her rhythm, neutralising the 21-year-old’s power to save a set point and force a tiebreak.

 

Holding another chance to take a one-set lead at 6-5 in the tiebreak, Kostyuk produced two loose forehands to gift the 2023 US Open champion control of the encounter.

 

Playing in the baking sun on a 30-degree Melbourne afternoon, the quality did not rise in the second with both players continuing to struggle on serve.

 

On this occasion, it was Gauff who was unable to serve out the set at 5-3 leading to another tiebreak and consequently, a decider after two-and-a-half-hours of play.

 

Finally, the American star closed out the third 6-2 to earn her place in the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time.



From start to finish, the contest was filled with inconsistent hitting, ultimately seeing a combined one-hundred-and-seven unforced erorrs to just fifty-six winners for the match.

 

Gauff particularly struggled to find winners, managing just seventeen amongst fifty-one unforced errors but found a way to ‘win ugly’ – encapsulating the book of her current coach Brad Gilbert.

 

Gauff will face either Aryna Sabalenka or Barbora Krejcikova in the final four as she seeks to reach a third Grand Slam singles final.

 

The teenager holds a 4-2 head-to-head over the defending champion Sabalenka, including a victory in the US Open final last September – and has faced the Czech just once in 2021 (7-6(6), 6-3 defeat).

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