In some ways, Coco Goff, a very ordinary 18-year-old, rushes to Court Philip Chatterjee with earbuds for his Roland-Garros semifinals, listening to a playlist he explains is called “rap” – and I can’t talk about the latter. “
And in some ways, he’s an old soul, a run-of-the-mill teen – or run-of-the-mill tennis player.
So when Goff set up a showdown against number one Iga Suatec, reaching his first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Martina Travisan, the Americans thought about the recent mass shootings. “Peace. Stop gun violence,” he wrote in a marker on his home country and Courtside TV camera.
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“I woke up this morning, and I saw another shooting, and I think it’s just crazy. I know it’s getting more attention now. But … it’s a problem, at least in my head, for a long time, and I Of course, I think some reforms are needed, “said Goff. “I think now, especially at the age of 18, I’m really trying to educate myself in certain situations, because now I have the right to vote and I want to use it wisely.”
The desire to talk about important things and a broader perspective on the world, reflects the kind of maturity that has served him well, especially with so much attention from such a young age. He won the French Open junior title at the age of 14. He became the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history and then defeated Venus Williams on the way to the fourth round at 15.
“What I see on the court is evolving every year, basically,” said Roland-Garros champion and No. 20 Daria Kasatkina, 20, in a 34-match winning streak after beating her 6-2, 6-1. “And when I see him, I forget that he’s 18.”
Ah, but he.
When Goff arrived in Paris a little over two weeks ago, he celebrated his recent high school graduation by posing for a cap-and-gown near the Eiffel Tower while holding his diploma. Maria Sharapova, who won Wimbledon at the age of 17 in 2004, is now the youngest player to reach a major title match.
Goff has won all 12 of his games, though he doesn’t have to navigate the hardest way to get it. With all sorts of wonderful results and the early departure of the top players from the brackets, he has faced only one picky enemy, No. 31 Alice Mertens.
A large serve reaching a speed of 185 km / h against Travisan, a great backhand and a steady-improved forehand are the keys to the 18th pick Goff’s game.
Travisan also praised Goff’s defense, comparing it to hitting the wall in front of him – every ball comes back.
Now, at Swiatek, comes someone who will present a more difficult test. The only Polish player to win a major singles title has not lost since February, having played five consecutive tournaments together; Only Venus Williams, who has won 35 matches in a row in 2000, has a long unbeaten run in this century.
“I’m trying to make these matches look like any other match,” said Suatek, “because it’s stressful, and I accept it. But I want to continue doing the same thing.”
In the men’s semifinals on Friday night, 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will face No. 3 seed Alexander Zaverev and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic will face No. 8 Caspar Rudd.
With a faint sound of clouds overhead and temperatures hovering around 25 degrees, the two female semifinals followed the same pattern.
Svetk-Kasatkina was in 2-All. Then Swiatek claimed 10 of the last 11 games.
Gauff-Trevisan was 3-A. Goff then claimed nine of the last 10 games.
Travisan is a 28-year-old left-hander who entered the 10-match winning streak with his first WTA title of his career in Rabat, Morocco, a week before the start of the game at Roland Garros. He also defeated Goff in the second round in Paris two years ago – the last time they played.
There was brief excitement on Thursday which was rarely with the score.
Travisan was surprised when chair umpire Marijana Velzovic warned him to shake hands – “I always play like this,” the Italian said – after being asked by the official to goof off his opponent’s “ahhhh!” Whether it was right to shout. Gauff’s racket was stretched into the swing.
Gauf asked Velzovich about a few line calls, drawing whistles and bosses from spectators who frowned at such things. After such an interaction, Travisan broke the serve to pull 3-3. Undeterred, Goff returns and leads 4-3, pushing the backhand winner which knocks Mom and Dad out of their seats in the player guest box.
There is now one match left to determine the champion: premature gaff against the predominant Suitek.
“I’m in the mood now: ‘It doesn’t matter.’ I mean, I’m going to be happy no matter what. My parents are going to love me no matter what. So I’m going to go to it like any other match, “Goff said. “I mean, yes, it’s a Grand Slam final, but there’s a lot going on in the world right now, and a lot is happening right now, especially in the United States, so I don’t think it’s important to stress about tennis matches.”
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