Coco Gauff rolled into her fourth semifinal of 2023 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Belinda Bencic on Friday night at the Mubadala Citi DC Open.
The third-seeded American needed just 1 hour and 28 minutes to knock out the No.6 seed advance to a showdown with No. 8 seed and defending champion Liudmila Samsonova, in the hunt for her second final of the season and first since she won the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand in the season's opening week.
"I'm really happy with how I played today," Gauff told reporters afterwards. "Belinda is not an easy player to play. I played all types of tennis. I was the aggressor in some moments. Some moments I was the defender.
"This definitely is probably one of the top matches that I have played. ... I think with the caliber of player and the way I played, this is definitely one of the top ones.
"This is the tennis that I have been trying to play. I don't know if I'm a hard critic on myself, but I feel like I could do better in a lot of moments today even though the scoreline seemed easier, but I don't think the scoreline reflected the level of the match today."
Read on for more facts and stats from Gauff's victory.
1: Gauff and Bencic's overall head-to-head is now knotted at 1-1. The Swiss won in three sets in Adelaide, Australia two years ago -- a match Gauff admitted she "didn't remember" in her on-court interview with Rennae Stubbs after her win.
4: Gauff won four straight games to win each set.
5: The American struck five aces in eight service games, but four in a single game at a crucial moment in the second set. Up a break at 3-2, having broken Bencic again after the Swiss got even from 2-0 down, Gauff struck three consecutive aces from 15-40 (the other came at 0-30) en route to holding serve.
6: Conversely, she broke Bencic six times on nine break point opportunities.
7: Seven of Gauff's 12 career semifinals have come at hard-court tournaments.
8: In two matches so far in D.C., Gauff has lost just eight games. She was a 6-1, 6-4 winner over fellow American Hailey Baptiste in the second round.
17: Gauff hit 17 winners in victory to 16 unforced errors. Bencic hit 14 winners, but was undone by 26 unforced errors.
3: In the semifinals, Gauff will face Samsonova for the third time overall, and first time since 2021. She's beaten Samsonova in both of those matches, from a set down each time.
She's also the third teenager to reach the semifinals in tournament history, joining Caty McNally (2019) and Sloane Stephens (2012).