Coco Gauff Marks Reaching First French Open Final By Calling For An End To Gun Violence - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Coco Gauff Marks Reaching First French Open Final By Calling For An End To Gun Violence

After her emphatic semi-final win, Gauff explains why she has no problem speaking out about social issues.

Published

on

Image via https://twitter.com/rolandgarros/

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff said she didn’t plan to make an anti-gun violence statement following her milestone win at the French Open where she became the third-youngest female Grand Slam finalist since 2000.

The 18-year-old American dropped just four games during her 6-3, 6-1, semi-final win over Italy’s Martina Trevisan on Thursday. Gauff hasn’t dropped a set in the entire tournament en route to the title match in Paris. Making her only the sixth female player from her country to do so in the Open Era. Against Trevisan, she hit a total of 14 winners and heavily benefitted from her opponents unforced error tally of 36.

I think I played probably the best I could. Today in the moment I think we were both kind of shaky in the first couple games, had a lot of early unforced errors, but after that, it was smooth sailing from there.” Gauff said during her press conference.

In the immediate aftermath of her latest victory, the world No.23 conducted the usual duty of the match winner writing on a camera lens for TV viewers to see. She chose to write the phrase ‘peace, end gun violence.’ A reference to the ongoing debate in America concerning gun control with the country experiencing a series of deadly shootings. One of the latest being the Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 22 people, including 19 children under the age of 11.

“I think for me it was just especially important just being in Europe and being where I know people globally around the world are for sure watching,” she said when asked why she wrote that phrase.
“I think that this is a problem in other parts of the world but especially in America it’s a problem that’s, frankly, been happening over some years but obviously now it’s getting more attention. But for me it’s been an issue for years.”

Gauff’s decision to make such a statement might have been out of the blue but the issue is something she knows all too well after watching her friends being affected by the Parkland shooting in 2018. 17 people were killed by a gunman at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“I really didn’t know what I was going to write even moments walking to the camera, and it just felt right in that moment and to write that,” she explains.
“I woke up this morning and I saw there was another shooting. I think it’s just crazy.’
“I know that it’s (gun violence) getting more attention now. But this has been an issue, at least in my head, for a long time, and I definitely think there needs to be some reform put into place.”

For an athlete at such a young age Gauff is not afraid to speak out. In 2020 she delivered a speech during a Black Lives Matter protest in Delray Beach. She is also one of the few American players to publicly speak out against a Florida bill that prohibits classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for many young students.

“My team around me knows that if I want to say something, I’m going to say it,” she continued.
“I’m not going to be an athlete forever. There is going to be a time when I retire and all this and I’m still going to be a human. So of course I care about these topics. I think if anything, sports gives you the platform to maybe make that message reach more people.”

Swiatek awaits

Gauff is a win from claiming her first Grand Slam title but standing in her way is the in-form world No.1 Iga Swiatek. Swiatek defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets to clinch her 34th consecutive win on the Tour. To put that into perspective, since 2000 only Venus Williams (35), Roger Federer (42) and Novak Djokovic (43) have won more consecutive matches in the sport.

“I think going in I have nothing to lose and she’s definitely the favorite going into the match on paper,” Gauff said of the final.
“Going in, I’m just going to play free and play my best tennis. I think in a Grand Slam final anything can happen.”

The laid back approach to what is arguably the biggest match of her career yet is linked to Gauff’s wider perspective of how winning a Grand Slam title may affect her.

“If I do lift the trophy, honestly, I don’t think my life is going to change really. 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. I mean, obviously if I do, I will probably get more attention from the people around the world. But in general, I’m not worried about how my life is going to change, because I really don’t think it’s going to change.” She concludes.

The French Open women’s final will take place on Saturday afternoon.

Latest news

Alexander Zverev beats Alejandro Tabilo to reach the third final of his career in Rome

Published

on

Akexander Zverev came back from one set down to beat Alejandro Tabilo 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 reaching the third final of his career at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and his first Masters 1000 final since 2022. 

Zverev reached his 11th career Masters 1000 final, equalling his compatriot Boris Becker for most Masters 1000 final appearances by a German man since the series started in 1990.

Tabilo earned a double break point with a forehand drop shot winner. The Chilean player forced an error with a topspin forehand into the corner to earn his first break in the fourth game for 3-1 after just 13 minutes. Tabilo saved two break points to consolidate the break for 4-1. Tabilo held three break points and hit a forehand return winner to break at love for 5-1. The Toronto-born Chilean player closed out the first set with drop-shot winners. He won 10 of the last 12 points of the first set. 

Zverev won his first service game of the second set to stop his losing streak. The German player held serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. 

Zverev double fault to face a break point. He saved it with a big serve and held serve for 4-3 in the seventh game. This year’s Auckland champion Tabilo held serve at love to force the second set to the tie-break. 

Tabilo earned the mini-break after Zverev made his fifth double fault at the start of the tie-break. Zverev pulled back on serve on the third point as Tabilo netted a backhand. Zverev went up a mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after one of the longest rallies of the match. Zverev converted his second set point to force the match the third set. 

Zverev earned three break points in the third game of the decider with a crosscourt backhand. Tabilo saved the first two break points, but Zverev converted his third break point to take a 2-1 lead, as Tabilo made a double fault. 

Zverev backed up the break with an ace to open up a 3-1 lead. Zverev earned a second break in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead and closed out the win with his 10th ace of the match after 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

Zverev will face either Tommy Paul or Nicholas Jarry in the final. The Olympic champion will rise to world number 4 if he wins the Rome Masters 1000 title. 

Tabilo upset Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-3 last Sunday and backed up this win with a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (12-10) win over Karen Khachanov in the fourth round. 

“I did not play well, but he was the reason why I did not play well. He came out hitting the ball extremely hard. A lot of dropshots. He was playing extremely aggressive. He did not let me play. I have to give credit to him for not allowing me to play my game”, said Zverev. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Taylor Fritz overcomes Grigor Dimitrov to reach the quarter finals in Rome

Published

on

Taylor Fritz overcame a tough battle to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-7 (11-13) 6-1 reaching the quarter final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

Fritz has become the first US player to reach quarter finals at three different clay court tournaments in Monte-Carlo in 2022 and 2023, Madrid 2024 and Rome 2024. 

Fritz broke serve in the third game and saved two break points to hold serve for 3-1. The US player fended off five break points before breaking serve in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-2. 

Dimitrov earned a set point at 5-4 on Fritz’s serve, but the US player fended it off. 

Fritz hit a smash to save a second break point. The Delray Beach champion and Munich finalist fought all 11 break points he faced in the match. 

Dimitrov hit a forehand down the line to earn an early mini-break in the tie-break and took a 2-0 lead. Fritz pulled the mini-break back for 2-3, when Dimitrov missed a forehand. Dimitrov earned a second mini-break with a drop-volley winner to take a 4-2 lead. Dimitrov went up a 6-3 lead to earn three set points. Fritz fired a wide serve to save a third set point. Fritz fended off a fourth set point with a drop-shot. Fritz saved the fifth set point to draw level to 6-6, as Dimitrov made a double fault. Dimitrov hit another drop volley to earn his seventh set point, but Fritz saved it. Dimitrov saved a match point at 8-7 on a second serve. 

Dimitrov earned a seventh set point, but he hit a forehand pass wide to drop to 9-9. Fritz faced an eighth set point at 10-9 with his first double fault, but he saved it to draw level to 10-10, as Dimitrov hit his slice into the net. Fritz saved a ninth set point with a backhand down the line to draw level to 11-11. Dimitrov converted his 10th set point with a forehand down the line to close out the 19-minute tie-break. Dimitrov forced the match to the decider after 2 hours and nine minutes. Fritz dropped his first set at this tournament. 

After a four-minute bathroom break Fritz converted his fourth break point to open up a 2-0 lead in the third set. Fritz won 12 of the 13 break points on his serve to open up a 4-1 lead. Dimitrov faced a two break points in the sixth game. Fritz broke for the second time in the sixth game with a forehand to race out to a 5-1 lead. Fritz sealed the win with his 13th ace on his first match point. 

After losing in the first round at the Miami Open, Fritz reached the final in Munich and the semifinal in Madrid, where he avenged a 2023 Roland Garros loss against Francisco Cerundolo in the quarter final. 

“I feel like normally in those situations. I would be a lot more uptight and nervy, but honestly I felt pretty calm. I think it was tough because the sun was moving the whole match, and right in the tie-break is the first time it was bad for me on that side, so I threw in the double fault. I had a really good opportunity on a second serve return, and he hit it into my body and a bit slower than the other ones. I just caught it a bit early trying to get out the way of it. It’s easy to go back and dwell on that the whole third set, but I did a really good job at just putting it behind me and not thinking about that second serve return”, said Fritz. 

Fritz set up a quarter final match against Alexander Zverev, who beat Nuno Borges 6-2 7-5. Zverev has reached at least the fourth round at all Masters 1000 tournaments this year. 

Zverev earned an early break, but Borges broke back to draw level to 2-2. Zverev won four consecutive games to close out the first set 6-2. Zverev earned the decisive break in the 11th game to seal the win in 86 minutes. Zverev hit 25 winners to Borges’ eight and his 82% of points on his first serve. Zverev has improved his seasonal record to 25 wins to 9 defeats. The German player reached three semifinals at Los Angeles, Miami and Los Cabos.  

Zverev leads 4-3 in his seven head-to head matches against Fritz, but the US player won two of their last three matches. Zverev and Fritz have never faced off on clay. 

“We were lined up potentially last week to play in the quarter finals, but it will be fun. We will see what happens. We have played each other a good amount and known each other a long time, said Fritz.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Danil Medvedev battles past Hamad Medjedovic to reach the fourth round in Rome

Published

on

Defending champion Danil Medvedev battled past 2023 Next Gen Finals champion Hamad Medjedovic 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 50 minutes on Centre Court to reach the Round of 16 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

Medvedev is the highest ranked player left in the men’s draw since Novak Djokovic lost against Alejandro Tabilo on Sunday. Medjedovic beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina without dropping a set to reach the third round of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time in his career. He faced a top 10 player for the first time in his career. 

Medvedev broke serve in the first game and held on his serve to take a 4-2 lead in the opening set. Medjedovic broke serve at 15 in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Medvedev converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Medjedovic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 en route to the tie-break. Medvedev went up a mini-break three times, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve each time. Medvedev sealed the tie-break with a fourth mini-break. 

Medjedovic broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Medvedev broke in the fourth game of the third set to open up a 4-1 lead. Medjedovic broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Medvedev broke for the second time in the 12th game to close out the third set 7-5. 

Medvedev won his first title on clay in Rome last year. He is seeking to defend a tour-level title for the first time in his career. 

Medvedev has now reached the Round of 16 at all five Masters 1000 tournaments this season. 

“I felt like I started the match well and then in a way it was going downhill. My serve was not there, my shots were not aggressive enough when I needed to. Because many times I would like to play the rhythm I played, but I would like from time to time to surprise my opponent with some good shots. Today I was not able to do it. At one moment in the match I thought what I was doing would not be enough to win the match, so I am happy that even by playing not my best I could win. Tomorrow I am going to try to find my best tennis”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev set up a fourth round match against Tommy Paul, who beat Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-4. 

Sebastian Baez came back from one set down to beat Holger Rune 2-6 6-2 6-3. Baez has reached the fourth round of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time in his career. 

The Argentine player has scored his third top 10 win after beating Cristian Garin in Cordoba and Andrey Rublev in Bastad in 2022. 

Baez set up a Fourth round match against Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending