At the onset, it looked as though Coco Gauff's 2024 unbeaten match record was in jeopardy. The World No. 4 seemed anxious, suffered service issues, and committed more unforced errors than what was expected. Fatigue was not an issue as she spent less than five hours on the court in her previous matches and was not playing doubles. If anything, Gauff breezed through the ASB Classic and her early rounds of the Australian Open without being thoroughly tested.
Gauff knew the player across the net, Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk had an amazing Australian Open run. Kostyuk won her first career WTA title in 2023 and is a Top 40 player whose stock is rising. She spent nearly nine hours on the court in her four previous rounds, grinding her way through quality opponents like Elise Mertens.
Kostyuk opened the match with blistering tennis, serving well and running down everything Gauff sent her way. She was up 5-1 in the first set, but then Gauff lifted her game and Kostyuk started to struggle. The first set ended in a tiebreaker win for Gauff. Kostyuk came back and won the second set in a tiebreaker, but Gauff pulled away in the decisive third set 6-2.
Coco Gauff reaches her third career Grand Slam semifinal
Gauff passed the tough Kostyuk test and is now into her third career Grand Slam semifinal. She has a 2-0 career record in Grand Slam semifinals (2023 US Open and 2022 French Open).
She awaits the winner of the Aryna Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcikova match that is in progress. Gauff did not play her best against Kostyuk, but the mark of a good player is finding a way to win when the A game is not there. She will need to be at her best in the semifinals for either opponent especially if it ends up being defending champion Sabalenka.