Coco Gauff reaches the French Open final at the age of 18 and calls for an end to gun violence | Coco Guff

Coco Gauff had things beyond tennis on your mind when she reached the French Open final on Thursday at the age of 18.

After crushing Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 in the semi-finals to become the youngest French Open finalist in 21 years, American wrote “Peace End Gun Violence” on the camera lens on the court.

The United States has been hit by a spate of mass shootings in recent weeks, including the fatal shooting of four people at a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Wednesday; another at an elementary school in Texas who killed 19 children and two teachers; and an attack by a self-advocating white supremacist at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 people. Most Americans support stronger gun laws, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll last week.

Gauff will play world number one Iga Swiatek in Saturday’s final but said events at home put her achievements into perspective.

“I think I’m on my mind right now because it doesn’t matter,” Gauff said when asked about the pressure ahead of the final. “I will be happy no matter. My parents will love me no matter. So I will play it as another match.

“Yes, it is a Grand Slam final but there are a lot of things that are happening in the world now, especially in the United States, and there are a lot of things that are happening now. I will not stress about a tennis match.”

Gough, who turned 18 in March, is the youngest French Open finalist since 2001, when Kim Clijsters was runner-up the day after her 18th birthday.

Gauff has won all 12 combinations it has played in the past two weeks. You didn’t need to go the hardest way to get this far: Due to surprising results and early exits by the top players of the class, you’ve faced only one ranked enemy so far, No. 31 Elise Mertens.

Now comes someone who will provide a more rigorous test and will require a higher level of quality. Not only has Swiatek been a Grand Slam champion – she won the French Open in 2020 – but she has been undefeated in her past 34 matches after defeating 20th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 on Thursday.

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