French Open 2021 - American women supporting each other as they compete with one another
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fairly easy
Despite Olympic berths and a major title at stake, Coco Gauff, Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin all want one another to win too.
The much-hyped third-round clash at the French Open between Americans Jennifer Brady and Coco Gauff didn't end the way either had hoped.

After Gauff won the first set in just 19 minutes, Brady retired with a foot injury, later revealing it was plantar fasciitis that first flared up at the Italian Open last month. The two shared a hug, and Brady apologized for not being to continue. Gauff applauded for Brady, who tearfully walked off the court.

While Saturday wasn't an example of either player playing at her highest level, Kathy Rinaldi, the head of women's tennis for the USTA and the captain for the Billie Jean King Cup team, believes that camaraderie and support have helped push all the American women to be their best.

"They're fierce competitors on the court, but then they walk off the court and are right back to supporting one another," Rinaldi said. "I think that's why the [American] women have had so much success: They have pushed each other and inspired one another, and it goes from generation to generation.

"It goes back to Serena [Williams] and Venus [Williams], and then it's Maddie [Keys] and Sloane [Stephens] and Jenny [Brady] and Jess [Pegula], and now you've got Sonya [Kenin] and Coco [Gauff]. When they see [a peer] reach the finals, like Jenny did this year or Sonya last year, they say, 'She can do this; I can too.' It just inspires everyone."

Coco Gauff has yet to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam, but she will have the opportunity to do so when she faces Ons Jabeur on Monday. Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Ranging in age from 17-year-old Gauff to 39-year-old Serena Williams, eight countrywomen reached the round of 32 -- the best mark at Roland Garros since 2003. Six of them had to play matches against one another, and four ultimately advanced (out of a maximum of five) to the second week.

Gauff and Williams, as well as 28-year-old Stephens and 22-year-old Kenin, all remain and look to extend their stays in Paris during fourth-round play on…
D'Arcy Maine
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