Coco Gauff had never won a set against Iga Swiatek in seven previous meetings. On Saturday, the 19-year old beat the No. 1-ranked player in the world, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, to advance to Sunday’s final in the Western & Southern Open.
Swiatek, winner of three of the last six Grand Slam titles, survived three match points before Gauff finally finished off the upset to the delight of a large crowd that loudly supported the American.
“It feels really good,” Gauff said. “It shows that I can be at that level, or compete at that level at least. I’m sure I’m going to face her many more times. I still think that I’m not even to the peak of my game.”
The seventh-seeded Gauff hadn’t won more than four games in a set against Swiatek since their first meeting in Rome in 2021 until winning the tiebreaker to take the opening set on Saturday.
“Today I fought to the end,” Swiatek said. “Coco, she’s a great player. This one, she deserved it more. My tank of fuel is pretty empty. I’m happy to have some days off.”
Gauff is the fourth teenager to reach the final in Cincinnati during the Open Era and first since Vera Zvonareva in 2004. The last teenager to win the title was 17-year-old Linda Tuero in 1968.
Gauff will face either Karolina Muchova or second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka in Sunday’s final.
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