Rome: Coco Gauff ousts Australian Open finalist to set up Iga Swiatek showdown

Everything is set for a Gauff and Swiatek semifinal showdown in Rome.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rome: Coco Gauff ousts Australian Open finalist to set up Iga Swiatek showdown
© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Coco Gauff has been through to the Rome Open semifinal after beating Zheng Qinwen 7-6 (4) 6-1 as now everything is set for a Foro Italico showdown between the American tennis star and Iga Swiatek. 

Gauff, the 2023 US Open champion, and 2024 Australian Open finalist Zheng met for the first time in their careers on Tuesday evening in Rome. When the match started, it was a pretty tight battle but after Gauff won the opener, it pretty much became a one-sided affair as the American gave no chance to the Chinese in the second set. 

Now, Gauff is set for a very difficult task as she is set to battle against Swiatek for a Rome final spot in what will be their first meeting of the season and overall the 11th meeting between the two. Heading into the match, Gauff has just one win and nine losses to Swiatek. 

Interestingly, Gauff made her first Rome semifinal in 2021 - and back then - the American's run ended after Swiatek beat her 7-6 (3) 6-3 in what was the first-ever meeting between them. 

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek
Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek © Getty Images Sport - Fred Lee

How Gauff beat Zheng to set up a Swiatek semifinal in Rome?

Through the opening seven games of the match, not a single break point was seen. But in the eighth game, Gauff managed to clinch multiple break points and she realized her fourth break point to go 5-3 up.

Serving for the first set in the ninth game, Gauff had 40/30 on her serve and a set point. At that point, it seemed that Gauff would certainly close out the first set. But then, Zheng saved Gauff's set point - earned her first break point - and realized it after the American hit a double fault. 

The first set ultimately went into a tie-break, where Gauff was 2-3 down before winning four consecutive points to go 6-3 up and collect three consecutive set points before realizing her third set point to win a very tight opener.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

After not allowing Zheng to win a tight first set, Gauff broke Zheng in the first, fifth and seventh games of the second set to complete a straight-set win.

Coco Gauff Australian Open Iga Swiatek