US Open Day 9: Caroline Garcia knocks off Coco Gauff to reach first semifinals

·7 min read

Welcome to Day 9 of the US Open! The four matches on Tuesday feature seven seeded players and just one unseeded player, Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia. She knocked off the great Serena Williams last week, but fell to fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur to earn a spot in the semifinals.

You can find out what happened yesterday in our Day 8 roundup. To see what happens on Day 9, read on.

Caroline Garcia knocks off Coco Gauff

Caroline Garcia was just too much for Coco Gauff on Tuesday afternoon.

Garcia flew past Gauff in straight sets at Arthur Ashe Stadium 6-3, 6-4, to earn her spot in the US Open semifinals. The French star has now made it to her first semifinals in any Grand Slam in her career.

Garcia flew ahead to an early 4-0 lead in the first set, and Gauff didn’t seem to have an answer whatsoever.

It wasn’t until the fifth game that Gauff finally got on the board, where she snuck out a tight win before taking the next game on a huge ace to get to 4-2. That, however, was about as close as she got. Garcia quickly closed out the first set, winning two of the next three — with her only stumble coming on a quick burst from Gauff in the eighth game where Gauff only dropped one point on a double fault.

Garcia flew ahead to a similar lead in the second set, taking a 3-1 advantage almost instantly. While Gauff once again battled her way back with a pair of wins, Garcia held on to take her second 6-4 win and end the match there — picking up her 29th win in her last 33 matches and her sixth straight against a top-20 opponent.

Caroline Garcia of France celebrates a point against Coco Gauff
Caroline Garcia is headed to the US Open semifinals. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Khachanov battles past Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios fought through a late-night battle, and an early leg injury, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Karen Khachanov edged out an upset win over Kyrgios 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 to earn his spot in the US Open semifinals after a three and a half battle that ended around 1 a.m. in New York.

Khachanov edged out Kyrgios in the first set 7-5, and Kyrgios quickly called for a medical timeout to look at his left leg. He received treatment on it for quite some time, and was seen telling the trainer, “I can’t walk,” before he eventually returned for the second set.

Despite the injury, Kyrgios flew ahead early to even the score headed into the third set. He even used a wild between-the-legs shot in the middle of a rally — something he definitely didn’t need to do.

The two alternated games throughout the third set in a tight battle before Khachanov finally pulled out the final two to grab the 7-5 win, bringing him just a win away from the semifinals.

The fourth set went the same way until Kyrgios found himself down 6-5 with the serve. Needing a win to extend the match, Kyrgios pulled out the 12th game of the set and flew through the tiebreak with ease, winning 7-3, to force a fifth.

Despite that rally, however, Khachanov pushed back and opened on a 3-1 run in the final set. Though Kyrgios kept things within a game, Khachanov fended him off to close out the 6-4 win and make it into the semifinals — his first in any Grand Slam.

Ons Jabeur ousts Ajla Tomljanovic, moves on to semifinals

Ajla Tomljanovic, who beat Serena Williams in her final career match last week, will not be the 2022 US Open champion. She fell to Ons Jabeur in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(4), in a match that Jabeur nearly gave away.

This match was more about Jabeur trying not to lose than about Tomljanovic trying to win, because Jabeur was uncharacteristically sloppy with her play. She won the first set, but she appeared to be almost constantly frustrated, and majorly tightened up around the fourth game of the second set. She was sending balls long and short, missing points that should have been hers and even once throwing her racket down in frustration. Down 5-3, she dug deep and appeared to relax a bit, winning every point in the game that brought her to 5-4.

But Jabeur continued to struggle with unforced errors, even after she managed to force a tiebreak. She gave away two points to Tomljanovic, but it wasn't quite enough for Tomljanovic to stay in the game. Jabeur had her running all around the court, and her final shot was a ball hit directly into the net to give Jabeur the win.

Tomljanovic and Jabeur are close friends, and they shared a long embrace over the net once the match was over.

Jabeur, who hails from Tunisa, is on to her second Grand Slam semifinal of the year.

Casper Ruud advances to semifinal in straight sets

A late rally wasn't enough to save Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinal. Casper Ruud defeated Berrettini in straight sets (6-1, 6-4, 7-6) to advance to the semifinal of the 2022 US Open.

At the beginning, it looked like this match would be a quickie. Ruud bested Berrettini 6-1 in under 30 minutes, something that's been uncommon in this tournament so far. In the second set, Berrettini came alive, finally matching Ruud's energy. Down 5-1, he battled back to 5-4 before Ruud captured his sixth game to win the set.

There was excellent shot-making on both sides of the net. Ruud covered an unreal amount of ground in this volley, returning a runaway drop shot from between his legs to keep the point alive.

Berrettini found his stroke as well, coming to the net more often to get the ball past Ruud.

In the third set, Berrettini went up 2-0, then battled with Ruud in a protracted game to go up 3-0. He continued to go to the net, taking advantage of Ruud's positioning to make him rush. Ruud managed to take a few games off Berrettini, but it looked like this would go to a fourth set. At the end of seven games, Berrettini led 5-2.

Ruud rallied with his back against the wall. He took three straight games of Berrettini to tie things up. He carried that momentum the rest of the set, eventually winning the tiebreak to take the match.

The win pushes Ruud into the semifinal at the US Open for the first time in his career. His next match will come Friday. Ruud will face the winner of Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov, who play Tuesday evening.

This story will be updated.