Coco Gauff Set to Break Into Top-30 in Singles After Reaching the Semifinals at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/15/2021, 2:22 AM EDT
Coco Gauff of the United States celebrates after winning match point during her Women’s Singles third round match against Naomi Osaka of Japan day five of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Coco Gauff has taken a career leap that few tennis stars of her age have.

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Marching into the semifinals of Italian Open, courtesy a walkover by current women’s World No.1 Ashleigh Barty on Friday, Gauff, at 17, will break into the Top-30 in singles for the first time.

The American teen sensation will take the 29th place when the new rankings are announced on Monday.

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Coco Gauff was trailing Ashleigh Barty by a set when the latter withdrew

However, she will consider herself fortunate to have progressed to the last-four in Rome as she was down by a set and trailing 1-2 in the second when Barty decided to concede the tie with an injury.

The decision did raise some eyebrows as the Australian was ahead in the contest, but with a soggy turf following persistent drizzle and a Grand Slam coming in a few weeks’ time, it was, perhaps, a wise call in the end.

The withdrawal won’t affect Barty’s rankings as she will continue to reign as the top-ranked player when the new standings are announced.

Current World No.3 and two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep suffered a similar fate in Rome when she had to pull out midway through her third-round clash against veteran German star Angelique Kerber with an injury.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 16, 2020 Coco Gauff of the U.S. in action during the Women’s doubles Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

The Romanian had breezed through the first set 6-1 and was tied 3-3 in the second over the three-time Grand Slam champion when she was forced to withdraw.

Gauff can rise to 21/22 in rankings if she wins Rome title

Gauff, who recorded two of her biggest scalps in the form of big-hitting Greek star Maria Sakkari and reigning Madrid champion Aryna Sabalenka on the road to the semifinal in Rome, will rise to 25th in singles if she reaches the final.

If she goes on to lift the championship trophy, which will be her second career singles Tour title, the American will rise further to Nos. 21 or 22 in the standings.

Hence, the stakes are high for the young American to go all out in her last-four tie and seal passage to the championship round.

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Barring the blip in Madrid where she lost in the opening round to veteran Czech star Karolina Pliskova, Gauff has had a fairly good run on clay this year.

DIVE DEEPER

UNFORTUNATE! Ashleigh Barty Retires Mid-Match, Coco Gauff Advances to Semifinals at Italian Open 2021

about 1 month ago

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She also reached the quarter-finals at Charleston before going down to Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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