Coco Gauff showed her obvious frustration at Roland Garros on Wednesday (June 9) as she smashed her racket during a French Open quarter-final defeat.
The American tennis champion lost to Barbora Krejcikova and became the latest unexpected semi-final exit in Paris. Down 4-0 in the second set, Gauff lost her cool and was warned for repeatedly smashing her racquet into the Court Philippe Chatrier clay. It’s the first time she had let her temper flare in such a dramatic fashion.
Following the racket-smashing, Gauff surrendered 15 straight points and went down 5-0 and then rallied from 5-1 to fight back to 5-3 but eventually lost the match to ultimately lose 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.
“I’m obviously disappointed that I wasn’t able to close out the first set, [but] to be honest, it’s in the past. It already happened,” Gauff said, according to ESPN. “After the match, Enzo [Couacaud], my hitting partner, told me this match will probably make me a champion in the future. I really do believe that.”
Gauff was looking to become one of the youngest women’s tennis players ever to win her first Grand Slam tournament. 31 years ago, 16-year-old Monica Seles defeated No. 1 Steffi Graf to win her first major championship.
Wednesday’s defeat wasn’t a complete negative for Gauff, who will now rise to No. 21 on the back of her efforts at Roland Garros. Additionally, she’s the first woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in 15 years and won her first clay-court title in Parma last month.
“Obviously, it was a great season. In the future, I mean, I just want to keep continuing to get better. Hopefully next year I’ll be better,” Gauff said.
“But I think that I’ve learned a lot over this swing and I have a lot that I can take with me later into my next tournaments later this year,” she added. “I think losing these matches are going to pay off in the future. I think if I continue fighting like this, other players, maybe if they do have the lead, will start to get nervous, because they know I’m not going to give in.”