WATCH: Jelena Ostapenko Hooks Fan Up With Ticket After DM Request, Then Dethrones Iga Swiatek | US Open


Tennis journalists and “so-called experts” can step aside, says Coco Gauff.

All fortnight long we’ve been hearing players’ hot takes about journalists and fans’ hot takes—from the epic Casper Ruud “tennis experts” rant that started it all, to Belinda Bencic’s words of warning about well-meaning “advice”. On Monday, Jessica Pegula called out journalists for their dramatic headlines after her fourth-round defeat.

Now Gauff has joined the discourse, after journalists predicted her to face world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in a mouthwatering US Open quarterfinal clash. Instead, it was No. 20 seed Jelena Ostapenko who came through against Swiatek, rallying from a set down to dethrone the Pole on her way to the last eight.

Gauff says she was as “shocked” as anyone by the result—but not exactly surprised, considering the firepower that Ostapenko possesses:

Q. What were your thoughts when you saw that Iga lost?

COCO GAUFF: I was shocked, to be honest... I'm not going to get into it, but we can't watch ESPN in our hotel. (Laughter.)

I saw the scoreline. I didn't see the match, because I was getting treatment while it was going on and I saw she won the first set… Then around midnight was when I was going to sleep. I saw that Ostapenko won. I was shocked. I mean, also not ‘shocked’ because I know the level that Jelena can bring to the game, but also, [Iga]’s the No. 1 player in the world.

In all my interviews, people were, like, You're going to play Iga. I was, like, They still have to play! …That's why you can never pay attention to what journalists say sometimes—no offense to you guys!—but they were making the matchup already.

I was shocked, but I knew I was going to have to go out there and play tennis—regardless if I was playing her or Jelena today.

Gauff reached the US Open semifinals for the first time with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Ostapenko on Tuesday.

Gauff reached the US Open semifinals for the first time with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Ostapenko on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Gauff came through one of her biggest Grand Slam tests to date against Ostapenko, as she dominated 6-0, 6-2 against the 2017 Roland Garros champion.

Along the way, she became the first American teenager to get to the US Open semifinals since Serena Williams did so in 2001—a comparison that still sounds surreal to Gauff no matter how many times their names are mentioned together.

“It means a lot to me. I mean, being in any sentence with her is great. She's the greatest player of all time,” Gauff said in her post-match press conference. “You know, I'm nothing close to that yet. I'm just really honored to be in the same sentence as her…

“I never take it for granted. She's my idol. I think if you told me when I was younger that I would be in these same stat lines as her, I would freak out.”

No. 6 seed Gauff will face No. 10 seed Karolina Muchova in the US Open semifinals on Thursday.