Coco Gauff, Sloane Stephens Set For All-American French Open Quarterfinal

Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens are headed for an all-American quarterfinal at the French Open.

The two Americans both won their fourth-round matches in straight sets Sunday, setting up their matchup on Tuesday.

They played last summer in the second round of the U.S. Open, with Stephens winning easily, 6-4, 6-2.

“I think last time I played her I was super nervous going into the match. Not because it was Sloane. Just because we were on Ashe and it was all-American matchup. I think a lot of people expected a lot from me in that match,” Gauff said.

“Going in … [I’m] just going to approach it like any other match. I have to go back and watch that match and see what I can learn from it.”

Gauff, 18, is into her second straight Roland Garros quarterfinal thanks to a 6-4, 6-0 win over No. 31 Elise Mertens.

No. 18 seed Gauff was down a break twice in the first set against Mertens, but won the last eight games of the match. She wore Mertens down over the course of 82 minutes with world-class defense; Gauff won 51 of the 75 total points of more than five shots in the match.

Mertens, who missed much of the clay-court season before the French Open with an injury, hit 25 unforced errors and only 15 winners. Gauff, conversely, hit 19 winners to 17 unforced errors. She also broke Mertens six times and won 17 of 20 points went she went to net.

“I feel like every match I’m getting better,” Gauff said. “I think today even though I had some tough moments I was able to tough it out. I really do feel like I’m progressing with each match.”

“I definitely feel confident on the court. I feel like [clay] really suits my game. … The previous tournaments this clay season, I had some good wins but it wasn’t really any outstanding results. I feel like it gave me a lot to learn from, and I think I’m taking those tough matches that I lost this season and really learning from them and I guess showing that I’m doing better.”

Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, steamrolled No. 23 Jill Teichmann, 6-2, 6-0, winning 12 games in a row to close out the match. She is playing as an unseeded player because she’s ranked No. 64 in the world.

Gauff and Stephens were among five American women into the fourth round.

Amanda Anisimova, who beat four-time major champion Naomi Osaka in the first round, bowed out in three sets to U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Fernandez, 19, will next meet another left-hander in Martina Trevisan, who squeaked past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6(10), 7-5 in 1 hour and 59 minutes to extend her winning streak to nine matches.

Two other American women will play Monday.

No. 22 Madison Keys will face No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia, while No. 11 Jessica Pegula meets Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu. If she advances, she could face world No. 1 Iga Świątek — winner of 31 straight matches — in the quarterfinals.