January 23, 2024
Coco Gauff has reached her first Australian Open semi-final – and the incredible Novak Djokovic is now in his eleventh!
Both players dropped a set on their way to the last four. And Coco might have surrendered the opener too, after she trailed 1-5 to Marta Kostyuk.
‘I just tried to win a game and make it look respectable, and then win the next one,’ Coco confessed.
Before she knew it, she had won a tie-break! But she was still tested to the limit after losing the second set in similar fashion.
Gauff won because she was able to forgive herself more easily for her mistakes. Kostyuk, in contrast, behaved childishly and went into meltdown in the final set.
The match certainly wasn’t a thing of beauty. But Gauff won’t mind that after securing a 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 passage to the semis.
Coco Gauff can go deep at Wimbledon 2024 as well – and maybe even win the tournament!
She’ll have to raise her game if she’s going to take the Australian title, though.
Meanwhile Coco’s fellow American, Taylor Fritz didn’t fair so well in his quarter-final. And yet he emerged with plenty of credit from his marathon match with Djokovic.
The contest lasted a gruelling three hours and forty-five minutes. The first game alone took sixteen minutes to complete.
Taylor had chances to win the first set as well as the second. But he ultimately couldn’t stop Djokovic. Maybe only Carlos Alcaraz can.
Novak has now reached 48 Grand Slam semi-finals – more than Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. And in Australia, he always wins the tournament if he reaches the semi-final.
‘I have to be humble but the confidence is there,’ he admitted after defeating Fritz 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
The American ran out of steam – but not before he depleted some of those famed Djokovic stamina reserves.
Novak explained: ‘I suffered a lot for the first couple of sets. That was high-quality tennis. He was suffocating me from the back of the court. It was extremely hot and physically very draining – emotionally too.
‘A huge round of applause for Fritz, he played some great tennis. Taylor has got one of the best serves in the world. I knew the threat. The first couple of sets were really a struggle.
‘My conversion of break points was really poor but I managed to break him when it mattered in the third and fourth sets. And I served extremely well, it helped a lot.’
Coco Gauff and Novak Djokovic will be two of the biggest attractions at Wimbledon 2024 – and we can’t wait to greet them.
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