WATCH: Coco Gauff wins spectacular 40-shot US Open rally at crucial moment

Ewan West
Coco Gauff wins again at the US Open
Coco Gauff wins again at the US Open

Coco Gauff won a thrilling and crucial 40-shot rally to set up the decisive match point in her US Open semi-final victory against Karolina Muchova.

The world No 6 declared that she felt the point was going to “change the match” as she did not think Muchova could play back-to-back rallies of that length.

With Muchova serving to stay in the contest at 5-6, 40-40 in the second set, Gauff outlasted the Czech in an epic point to set up her sixth match point. The world No 10 then sent a backhand long on the following point, proving Gauff’s prediction that she would try to shorten the point to be correct.

Prior to the epic rally, Gauff had been broken when serving for the match at 5-3, having had a match point at 40-30. The American then saw a further four match points slip away in the gruelling final game before she booked her spot in her first US Open final.

The match had been interrupted with Gauff leading 6-4, 1-0 due to climate change protestors in the crowd. It resumed after a 49-minute delay.

Speaking after her semi-final triumph, Gauff discussed the marathon rally and its significance in the outcome of the match.

“Yeah, I knew a long point like that was honestly in contention, it was coming, just the way that game was going. Obviously we both missed some shots, like going for it, I missed one of those match points going for a forehand winner,” said the 19-year-old in her post-match press conference.

“I think, you know, we were both just trying our best to stay in it. At that point when you’re like 20 shots in in the rally it’s tough to go for a winner sometimes because, you know, you’re not as fresh on energy and everything as before, and, you know, I knew that I could outlast that rally.

“I knew I had the legs and the lungs to outlast her in the rally; it was whether I had the mentality and patience to do it. After 10 or 15 shots in, I was like, ‘Well, this is going to change the match.’

“I knew that if I could win that rally, I felt like that next match point was going to go my way, because I don’t think she could have did back-to-back rallies like that. I knew that next match point, if I were to win she was definitely going to go for a winner or miss. That’s what happened (smiling).”

Gauff will take on Aryna Sabalenka in the 2023 US Open final on Saturday.

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