Coco Gauff is gunning for revenge against Iga Swiatek when they clash in the quarter-finals of the French Open.
Gauff reached her first grand slam singles final here last year and was handed a heavy beating by Swiatek, who claimed her second Roland Garros title.
Their rivalry is a one-sided 6-0 to the Pole, with Gauff yet to win a set, but the teenager said: “Honestly, since last year I have been wanting to play her, especially at this tournament.
“I figured that it was going to happen because I figured I was going to do well and she was going to do well. Didn’t know what side of the draw we were going to be on, obviously.
“But I’m the type of mentality, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I think also, if you want to improve, you have to play the best.
“I feel like, the way my career has gone so far, if I see a level, and if I’m not quite there at that level, I know I have to improve. I think it would be almost cowardly to say that I want to not face the noise and not face the challenge, but I think that I’m up for it.
“I have improved a lot since last year, and she has too. I think it would be a great battle for us and for the fans, too.”
Gauff is again showing excellent form in Paris and she reached the quarter-finals for the third successive year with a 7-5 6-2 victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Swiatek, meanwhile, has lost only nine games in her four matches, although she was given a helping hand when Ukrainian opponent Lesia Tsurenko retired through illness trailing 5-1 in the opening set.
Swiatek again raced out of the blocks, moving into a 4-0 lead before her run of 23 straight games across three matches came to an end.
Tsurenko called the doctor and trainer after getting on the board but played only one more game before calling it a day.
Seventh seed Ons Jabeur eased into the last eight with a 6-3 6-1 victory over American Bernarda Pera.
The Tunisian, who reached the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open last year, has struggled with injury in 2023 but is through to the quarter-finals here for the first time.
“It was the only grand slam missing,” said Jabeur. “I’m very happy with the performance, with the way I was, playing, especially coming back after an injury.
“I was just taking it one match at a time, trying to make it to the second week. Now I’m going to push more for the next few matches.”
In the last eight she will meet Beatriz Haddad Maia, who needed a mammoth three hours and 51 minutes to get past Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-7 (3) 6-3 7-5.
It was the longest women’s match of the year and the longest at Roland Garros since 1995, with Haddad Maia becoming the first Brazilian to reach the women’s singles quarter-finals since Maria Bueno 55 years ago.
“All the matches that I play I prepare myself for the toughest moments,” said the 14th seed. “So I know that Sara will bring the balls. She defends very well. I knew that the ball was coming again.
“I had to be aggressive. So I was prepared for that. I was trying to be as aggressive as I could to finish the point, to go to the net. I work very hard on my body, as well, so I believe in myself when we have tough moments.”