No.6 seed Coco Gauff needed to come from a set down to overcome qualifier Mirra Andreeva 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1 in 2 hours and 3 minutes to reach the Roland Garros fourth round.
A matchup between the two youngest players in the draw saw last year’s finalist Gauff advance to the second week of a major for the eighth time, and for a third straight year in Paris. The result marks the first time the 19-year-old has won three matches in a row since reaching the Indian Wells quarterfinals in March.
Andreeva, 16, leaves her first Grand Slam tournament having extended her 2023 record to 22-3 and taken her first set from a Top 10 player. Having been ranked No.312 at the start of April, she will rise from her current No.143 to a position on the edge of the Top 100, and possibly even inside it depending on other players’ results next week.
Turning points: An absorbing opening set saw both players probe each other’s games with subtle tactical shifts and competitive grit. There were two key momentum swings across the 65-minute first act.
Andreeva was more controlled in the early stages, testing the Gauff forehand while nailing a series of precise backhand drives and drop shots. She broke the American twice and served at 4-2, 40-15 — only to double fault. Gauff seized the opportunity to get back into the match, conjuring up a pair of superb drop shots herself as she reeled off three straight games.
Serving for the set at 5-4, 30-0, Gauff sent a forehand long — and this time, it was Andreeva who pounced on the opening. Her own forehand had gone awry as her lead had slipped, but she began to rally with more freedom as she edged the set in the tiebreak.
The final point encapsulated Andreeva’s boldness. Gauff had saved two set points, and a frustrated Andreeva had received a code violation after swiping her racquet into the ground. She responded with a second serve on the line and a drive volley winner.
But Gauff’s experience showed as she wiped the slate clean and began to assert her authority. The American’s second serve had been a weakness in the first set; she had won just four points out of 14 behind it, and committed five double faults. In the second and third sets, it was transformed. She won 12 out of 14 points behind her second delivery, and indeed only conceded five points on serve in the last two sets combined.
Andreeva was unable to live with Gauff’s raised level, finding it harder to hit through her opponent’s athleticism to end points. Across the last two sets, she hit just eight winners to 23 unforced errors.
The third game of the deciding set was Andreeva’s last stand, a three-deuce tussle that saw both players go toe-to-toe with superb all-court tennis. But Andreeva was unable to take two game points, and double faulted facing a second break point.
From there, Gauff rolled to the finish line with increasingly brilliant shotmaking. A jumping backhand overhead in the final game drew gasps from the Court Suzanne-Lenglen crowd, and she converted her first match point with a fizzing backhand winner, her 35th of the day.
Next up for Gauff will be either Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or qualifier Kayla Day.