Dubai - No.5 seed Coco Gauff reached Dubai Duty Free championships semi final with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Madison Keys.
The 19-year-old American was competing in her 10th quarterfinal across WTA 1000 and Grand Slam tournaments, but had only previously converted two of those into semifinals -- at Rome 2021 and Roland Garros 2022, where she made her first major final.
Coco who will play World No.1 Iga Shwaitek said after the match " She's playing at the top of her game. Well, I don't know, because last year we said the same thing. She's playing really well. I don't think she's gotten the five since someone got the five since Rybakina at Australian Open. It's going to be a challenge. But, to be honest, I think it's a good matchup just to see where I can maybe improve on."
"You know, there's no pressure for me. I'm just going to go out there swinging. Whatever happens happens. You just kind of have to go in believing you can win even when the odds seem stacked against you," she added.
And when asked about being the future of women tennis, Coco replied " Definitely it puts pressure on you. I never label myself that. I always said I just want to be the best that I can be. It definitely adds pressure to it, especially when you have these losses, people say things about you, the rest of your life."
And she continued " I have to remind myself I think I have a long career ahead of me, so I can't really dwell on the outside comments early. I also have to remind myself, just looking at other players, their experience, how they've kind of had a bad year one year, then had a great year the next year."
Two years ago, Dubai 2021 had marked Gauff's WTA 1000 quarterfinal debut. This week is the first time she has reached the last four of a tournament at this level off clay.