Coco Gauff Ash Barty

Coco Gauff reaches Italian Open semi-finals after Ash Barty forced to retire

Coco Gauff reached her first WTA 1000 semi-final after Ashleigh Barty was forced to retire when ahead at the Italian Open in Rome.

World No. 1 Barty was leading the 17-year-old American 6-4, 2-1 when she retired due to a right arm injury in their Italian Open quarter-final on Friday.

The Australian held from 0-40 down in the opening game of the match, but was broken to fall behind 1-2 after Gauff saved a break point.

The world No. 35, though, lost serve in the following game – before the set continued on serve until Barty led 5-4.

The 25-year-old then converted a fifth set point with Gauff serving to stay in the set. The second set progressed on serve and Barty pulled the plug after holding for 2-1.

Gauff will play either Iga Swiatek or Elina Svitolina in the Rome semi-finals on Saturday.

She will enter the top 30 of the WTA rankings for the first time next week.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.