Coco Gauff powered to Cincinnati semi-final after beating Italian Jasmine Paolini 6-3 6-2 on Friday to maintain her brilliant run at the competition.
Gauff, who recently won the biggest title of her career in Washington earlier this month, hasn’t drop a set in Cincinnati and continued the rhythm in the early stages of the first set, breaking the Italian in third, fifth and the ninth games of the first set.
In the second set the Italian worked to get back into the momentum as Coco dropped her serve in the first game. But the American aura of winning the WTA 1000 title was back as she hit back quickly to sweep the final six games of the brisk, one hour and 13 minute match.
Meanwhile, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka in two straight sets 7-5 6-3 to reach the last four.
The fifth seed in the competition could not repeat her triumph en route to the Wimbledon final this year. In the usual manner their meeting is always an encounter to look forward to and it traded twice in breaks in the tense first set. But Sabalenka’s flowing flair of tennis was beautiful as she closed out the 12 set game with a lethal backhand return to overcome the Tunisian.
Jabeur was further rattled in the second set, her earlier call for a break – medical timeout having her right foot taped could not save her from the growing confidence of Sabalenka who was leading. In the tense game she handed Sabalenka the break with a double fault in the sixth game and the Belarusian broke her again in the eighth round.
‘’I’m super happy to be in the semi-finals again Cincinnati, but right now I’m a little bit sad for Ons,’’ The Australian Open winner said during on-court remarks.
Also through to the last four is World No.1 Iga Swiatek, she cruised past Czech 10 seed Marketa Vondrousova 7- 6 6-1.
In the semi- final Coco Gauff will face Iga Swiatek, while Sabalenka will battle Karolina Mochuva. It will be recalled that Czech’s Karolina Mochuva beat Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-final of Roland Garros earlier this year.