Coco Gauff's candid message for RG crowd after they rooted for Ons Jabeur to beat her

Gauff overcame Jabeur and the French Open crowd to seal a French Open semifinal ticket.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff's candid message for RG crowd after they rooted for Ons Jabeur to beat her
© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Coco Gauff had nothing but love for the French Open crowd despite not having their support against Ons Jabeur as the American tennis star said she enjoyed being a part of a very live and energetic atmosphere. 

After safely cruising past her opening four matches at Roland Garros with straight-set wins, Gauff dropped her first set of the tournament against Jabeur in the French Open quarterfinal. 

En route to winning the first set with a 6-4 scoreline, Jabeur pretty much controlled everything on the court as the Tunisian created five break points and converted one all while not facing a single break point on her serve. And the crowd was enjoying it and they were openly on Jabeur's side.

Throughout the match, the French Open crowd continued cheering and supporting Jabeur but Gauff had an answer as she improved her level and went on to claim a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win and progress into her second French Open semifinal. 

"Yeah, she's (Jabeur) a tough opponent. She's well-loved on tour. I could tell by the crowd today, you guys wanted her to win, but honestly when she's playing her I cheer for her," Gauff said.

"Thank you for making it a good atmosphere. The people made it really fun for me. I like playing in environments like this. Even though you guys were for Ons, I had a lot of fun. Even when I lost the first set and they were chanting. When I was in the bathroom I was just like 'this is really fun, win or lose.'"

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Gauff says she enters the Iga Swiatek match 'confident'

Before the tournament started, No. 3 seed Gauff and top-seeded Swiatek were projected to meet in the French Open semifinal. And on Thursday, there will be a rematch of the 2022 French Open final between Gauff and Swiatek. 

While Gauff has been one of the best in the game for quite some time now, it is well-documented that she has had a very rough time versus Swiatek, losing 10 of their 11 meetings. 

After losing to Swiatek in their first seven meetings, Gauff managed to finally beat the Pole in Cincinnati last year when she earned a 7-6 (2) 3-6 6-4 win in the semifinal. But since then, Swiatek has returned to dominating their meetings as she defeated the American in Beijing and the WTA Finals in late 2023 before clinching another win at this past Rome Open.

Gauff maybe doesn't have the best head-to-head versus Swiatek but insists she still enters their French Open match feeling confident.

"I'm just going in it with confidence. When I played her in Cincinnati, I didn’t go into the match thinking, 'Oh I've never beaten her before, never taken a set off of her,'" Gauff said of facing Swiatek.

"I can't think about past players, you know, Potapova isn’t me, I’m not Vondrousova, maybe I could lose with the same score, maybe not. I'm just gonna go in and just try to win. I've nothing to lose, all the pressure's on her."

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

Gauff vows to change something compared to a Rome meeting versus Swiatek

A few weeks ago, Gauff started her Rome semifinal with an early break versus Swiatek but the Pole quickly responded and claimed a 6-4 6-3 win. In Paris, Gauff will try to do some things differently and see if it can land her her first win over Swiatek on clay. 

"I have to find a better way to play her than the last time I played on clay because I've obviously been unsuccessful the last couple of times we played," Gauff noted.

"She's definitely a tough opponent for me and for anybody but yeah, I’ll just have to go back and watch and try to find what I have to do. But I’m going to go into the match with a lot of belief that I can."

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

On the other side, four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek acknowledged that Gauff "won't be an easy opponent" in the French Open semifinal and that the American has a very tricky clay game.

"Honestly as the same as before any other match. You don't want to change your routines, you know, it's good to just keep going and not think about this match as something huge but just another match," Swiatek said before the Gauff match.

"Not to put too much baggage on your shoulders, but I guess Coco is not easy. So she really likes playing on clay and especially here, I think so. I'll just focus on myself and I'll prepare tactically and we'll see."

It remains to be seen if Gauff can upset Swiatek and make her third Grand Slam final.

Coco Gauff Ons Jabeur French Open