Coco Gauff upbeat despite narrow Australian Open semifinal loss to Aryna Sabalenka.
In a high-stakes Australian Open semifinal, Coco Gauff, faced a tough defeat against Aryna Sabalenka, the tournament’s defending champion. Despite a hard-fought match, Gauff fell short with a score of 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Reflecting on the tournament, Gauff managed to find some silver linings.
“Tough match for me tonight. Overall a positive tournament,” she said, per ESPN. “I had chances in both sets, but she played better tonight. I think it just came down to a couple of points, and that’s tennis.
“At this stage in any tournament, but especially a Grand Slam, whether I lost 6-1, 6-1, or like I did today, or in a third-set tiebreak, I still think it would hurt just as much.”
By reaching consecutive finals at the Australian Open, Sabalenka has matched a feat last achieved by Serena Williams between 2015 and 2017 as the first woman to reach back-to-back finals. She praised Gauff as a formidable opponent and stressed her focus and determination throughout the match.
“It was an incredible match,” Sabalenka said. “She’s a great player, always tough battles against her. I think the key was that I was able to stay focused no matter what, no matter what the score was, I just keep trying my best, keep fighting for it.”
Gauff expressed a sense of pride in her achievements and an optimistic view of the future, adding, “I am really proud of myself. I did want to win a Slam as a teenager, and I did that. I was hoping to get No. 2, or at least give myself a chance to get No. 2. I feel it can only go upwards from here.”
Sabalenka will aim to cement her status as a back-to-back champion against Zheng Qinwen on Saturday, setting her sights on becoming the first woman to win consecutive Australian Open titles since Victoria Azarenka in 2012 and 2013.