Coco Gauff dominates Karolina Muchova and will play her first final in New York

By Le Figaro with AFP

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Coco Gauff Geoff Burke/REUTERS

The American nugget Coco Gauff, 6th in the world at 19, qualified for her first US Open final on Thursday by beating the Czech Karolina Muchova (10th) 6-4, 7-5, after an interrupted match 50 minutes by environmental activists.

Gauff, who has already played a final at Roland-Garros in 2022, will face Belarus on Saturday Aryna Sabalenka (2nd) to try to win his first Grand Slam title. She had never made it past the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows before. Gauff is the youngest American to reach the US Open final since Serena Williams, who in 1999 even won the first of her six titles at Flushing Meadows.

Like Queen Serena, Gauff was able to count on the mive support of the public. “At certain points, the public made so much noise that I thought I was losing my hearing, joked the player. But keep it up, I hope it helps me on Saturday!” The Floridian climbed for the first time in the final of her national Major in the wake of a flamboyant month of August with two titles at stake just before coming to Flushing Meadows: Washington and the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati where she beat world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the semis.

Thursday, she emerged victorious from a generally unexciting match, in particular because studded with 61 unforced errors (25 for Gauff, 36 for Muchova), the most thrilling moment of which may have been her interruption by environmental activists. As the players were about to start the second game of the second leg, four people, according to the organization, rose in the upper part of the stands of the huge Arthur-Ashe court and chanted “end fossil fuels”, stop the fossil fuels.

The referee preferred to interrupt the game and while the public repeatedly threw “get them out” against the activists, Gauff and Muchova were allowed to leave the court and return to the locker room while the situation was resolved. . On the intervention of the police, three of the activists came out calmly, but the fourth stuck his bare feet on the ground. The police and the medical service took several minutes to take him off before taking him out, his hands handcuffed behind his back. On the court, Gauff looked like she could swallow the first set when she served at 5-1. But Muchova came back at 5-4.

The Czech then served to equalize at 5-5, but in a festival of unforced errors (12 for Gauff and 17 for Muchova over the first set), the American took over her opponent’s service for a third time to pocket the first inning. In the second set, the two players kept their face-off until Gauff managed the break (notably taking advantage of a ball dutifully spiked in the corridor by Muchova) to lead 5-3 and serve for the match. . With superb cushioning, the American got a first match point, but the Czech saved her with great authority before unbreaking.

At 5-4 and 15/15, Gauff and Muchova finally played a spectacular point, won by the American, which made the public stand up. The game then got carried away, especially as Muchova saved four more match points at 6-5. But after an exchange of 40 strikes, Gauff offered herself a sixth match point, which she converted this time.

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