Cori Gauff called Serena and Venus Williams “the greatest inspiration” after clinching her first win over Iga Swiatek and also making her first WTA 1000 final. In the Cincinnati semifinal, Gauff finally made a breakthrough in matches against Swiatek as she defeated the four-time Grand Slam champion 7-6 (2) 3-6 6-4.
After Swiatek won the second set and forced a third set, Gauff told herself she was going to fight and leave it all out there. In the end, Gauff’s mentality paid off as the American was able to prevent Swiatek from clinching a comeback win.
After seven losses, Gauff now has her first win over Swiatek.
Gauff being inspired by the Williams sisters, James
“[My greatest inspirations were] definitely the Williams sisters. They’re the reasons why I started playing tennis.
And honestly, that fight, watching them fight day in and day out, even Venus starting down 5-1 in the earlier rounds and coming back, just their fight. I mean, who they are on and off the court. And also LeBron James. And you know, when people define him saying he’s old and he can’t come back, I was really thinking about when he was down three one and came back.
I was like if ‘him and his team can do it and then I can do it down one point and not two whole games,'” Gauff said on Tennis Channel. In the third set, Gauff earned the first break of the set in the seventh game and also saved a break point in the following game to take a 5-3 lead.
In the 10th game – when Gauff was serving for the match – the American missed out on two consecutive match points before Swiatek earned a break point chance. Fortunately for Gauff, she was able to save Swiatek’s break point – clinch her third match point – convert it and complete a win. After the match, Gauff also said she is hoping to earn more wins against Swiatek in the near future.