Coco Gauff Ends French Open As Runner-Up In Singles, Doubles
by Bob Reinert
Iga Swiatek of Poland (R) poses with the winners trophy as Coco Gauff poses with the runners-up trophy after their women’s singles final match at the 2022 French Open on June 4, 2022 in Paris.
They weren’t quite the results she was looking for, but by reaching a pair of finals in 24 hours at the French Open, Coco Gauff served notice that she is a force to be reckoned with in women’s tennis major events for years to come.
A day after she dropped the women’s singles final 6-1, 6-3 to top-ranked Iga Swiatek of Poland, Gauff teamed up with U.S. Olympian Jessica Pegula in the women’s doubles final on Sunday but lost a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision to France’s Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, who won for the second time together at Roland Garros.
The 18-year-old Gauff has already reached three grand slam finals overall, including two in doubles. She and Caty McNally reached the finals in last year’s US Open.
“Today wasn’t easy,” Guaff said at the televised awards ceremony. “I was telling Jessica like on the changeovers that this is probably the most fun atmosphere that I’ve ever played in, and I really enjoyed today. The drums were pretty cool. I felt like I was at an American football game.”
“Congrats on an amazing two weeks,” the 28-year-old Pegula said to Gauff. “Singles and doubles is not easy. I hope we can just keep going in the future.”
After dropping the first game of the match to the French duo, who had the enthusiastic backing of the home crowd, Gauff and Pegula won the next three games on the way to taking the opening set, 6-2.
Winners at Roland Garros in 2016, Garcia and Mladenovic rallied to win the first four games of the middle set. They broke the Americans’ serve three times to even the match at 1-1.
The French doubles combination clearly had the match well in hand when they began the final set by winning four straight games before the Americans could get on the scoreboard.
On Saturday, Gauff became the youngest woman to reach a grand slam singles final since Maria Sharapova did it at Wimbledon in 2004, the year that Gauff was born. Unfortunately, she ran into a buzzsaw in Swiatek, the world’s No. 1 player.
Using her precision shot-making, Swiatek rolled to her 35th straight match victory, the longest streak since American Venus Williams reached that number 22 years ago. It was Swiatek’s second French Open win in three years.