First set: Gauff* 5-5 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) As simple a hold as you are ever likely to see from Krejcikova, who even threw in a slice (!!!) to change up the pace and unnerve Gauff.
First set: Gauff 5-4 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) Gauff’s first ace takes her to 30-15, before another takes her to set point at 40-30. A huge scream from the American carries around Chatrier. She is FIRED UP! But then! A wayward Gauff backhand and a double fault hands break point to Krejcikova, before Gauff bins a simple shot into the net. We’re back on serve! Really difficult to predict where this set and match is going to go. Both players are hitting aces, winners and double faults, looking equally sublime and ridiculous in the process.
First set: Gauff* 5-3 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) Krejcikova beginning to win a few cheap point on her serve – she wants to keep the rallies short if she can, as Gauff’s mobility around the court is far superior. Gauff isn’t playing her best but gets to break point, and bullies her way past the Czech with a ripping crosscourt forehand. Gauff will serve for the first set!
First set: Gauff 4-3 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) It’s only when the camera focuses on Gauff’s face that we remember how young she is. She’s got to show a little bit of maturity here, having lost the last three games. Three double faults in the game don’t help her here in this game, and a couple of errant ball tosses maybe betray her own nerves. But a clever serve out wide sends Krejcikova nearly hurtling into the stands and Gauff holds to break the run of games in her favour. We’re on serve.
First set: Gauff* 3-3 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) A break point down, Krejcikova fires her first ace up the T to relieve some pressure before a second ace sets up game point. Krejcikova hits a heavy ball out wide, Gauff cannot retrieve and suddenly we’re all square!
First set: Gauff 3-2* Krejcikova (*denotes next server) OK, OK, looks like we’ve got ourselves a ball game. Again, Gauff shows signs of her power and accuracy in some points, but Krejcikova is growing into this match. Her baseline shots are getting deeper and fiercer and she’s looking like she’s enjoying herself now. Gauff hits long and we’re a break each at 3-2!
First set: Gauff* 3-1 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) Krejcikova gets on the board with her first game and cracks her first smile of the day. It looks like the weight of the world has lifted off of her shoulders now that she knows that she won’t be bagelled. A real battling hold that, because in between a few sloppy errors, Gauff put on an exhibition of fabulous shots, from backhand winners to a deft drop volley at the net, to a wonderful scrambling defence to cover the baseline.
Welcome to Wednesday’s French Open liveblog. Coco Gauff kicks things off on Philippe-Chatrier against Barbora Krejcikova. At 17, she is the youngest grand slam quarter-finalist for 15 years, but you can’t help feeling that this is just another tiny milestone in what will surely be a remarkable career.
Both players will be nervous, though. The unseeded Krejcikova beat Sloane Stephens to reach this stage but admitted afterwards that she nearly didn’t take the court in the fourth-round due to nerves. She is traditionally a doubles player, but this is the first time she has reached the last eight of a grand slam.
“You know, half an hour before the match, I didn’t even want to step on the court, because I just felt really bad, and I had to lock myself in the physio room and I had to talk to my psychologist. I was actually crying. We talked about it a lot, and she told me, ‘If you can overcome this, what you feel right now, it’s going to be a huge win, and it doesn’t matter if you’re going to win on the court or lose on the court, because it’s going to be a personal win’.” I think after the first point things got a little bit better, a little bit easier. Then I broke her. I just felt like yeah, you know, I can play, I can actually play her. So I think I was just more stressed that I’m just not going to be good enough. I think that’s what happened.”
We join the match with Gauff an break up at 3-0 in the first set. After a double fault on the first point of the match, Gauff has certainly come out of the traps with more authority. Perhaps with the above comments, that is not surprising. But perhaps Krejcikova will take her time to grow into the match.
Not before 3pm BST
Not before 8pm