Coco Gauff topples Swiatek in Cincinatti, to face Muchova in final

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff finally decoded the DNA of her nemesis, world number one Iga Swiatek for the first time in eight meetings on Saturday, as she advanced to the Cincinnati Open final.

Seeded seventh, Gauff will be the heavy favourite in Sunday’s final when she faces unseeded Czech Karolina Muchova, who beat a misfiring world number two Aryna Sabalenka 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2.

Gauff served big and played sensational defence en route to a 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4 win over the 22-year-old Pole, leaping into the air and pounding her chest as the crowd erupted after she secured the hard-fought victory.

Swiatek and Coco Gauff
Swiatek and Coco Gauff

“I knew playing her was going to be tough, nothing was going to be given to me today,” she told Tennis Channel.

“I took my opportunities when I got them and just fought for every point. I was a little negative in the second set but I got it back and I was just telling myself, ‘You’re a warrior, you can do this.’

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“This shows that I can do it. A lot of people had doubts about my game but I’m still developing.”

Those doubts peaked when she was sent packing in the opening round at Wimbledon last month.

“I told myself I can either let this crush me or make me rise and I decided to make myself rise from it,” she said.

Gauff has certainly elevated her game since the start of the U.S. hard court swing, winning the title in Washington D.C., making the quarters of the Canadian Open and now reaching her first final of a WTA 1000 event.

It will also be a first WTA 1000 final for Muchova, who will make her top 10 debut after the tournament.

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