Mirra Andreeva
Mirra Andreeva, age 17, is in her first career Grand Slam semifinal at this year's French Open. | @rolandgarros
A prominent rivalry continues between Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff, and two fresh faces break through as Jasmine Paolini and Mirra Andreeva duel for the other spot.

(1) Iga Swiatek vs. (3) Coco Gauff

Iga Swiatek is on a mission to lift her fourth French Open trophy (third consecutive), and her fifth major overall.

Swiatek is riding a 17-match win streak, including the “Dirtball Double” titles in Madrid and Rome.

She narrowly survived Naomi Osaka in the second round, but since then it has been utter domination.

She only lost two games in her last two matches combined, posting three bagels in the 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-2 scorelines.

Raise your hand if you want to go up against that.

The honor goes to Coco Gauff, who will be the new world No. 2 next Monday, making this essentially a 1v2 matchup.

The head-to-head isn’t pretty for Gauff—she trails 10-1. That’s a lot of meetings for two players their age (Swiatek is 22, Gauff is 20). It means they know each other’s games inside out, and there won’t be any surprises.

It’s just a matter of laying their cards on the table to see whose game stacks up better on this day.

Coco’s first objective should be to avoid getting bageled. She can’t let Iga front-run her. When Iga gets momentum, it’s lights out.

Gauff lost to Swiatek here each of the last two years, including in the finals in 2022. That could play in her favor if she can turn those losses into added motivation. Maybe even a little pre-planned controlled anger.

Make no mistake, though, this is Iga’s show. Coco and the others are facing an all-time great in the early stages of her all-time greatness—in the period before the numbers become mind-boggling.

The others could have been (2) Aryna Sabalenka and (4)Elena Rybakina, but two new stars had other ideas.

Winner: Iga Swiatek

(12) Jasmine Paolini vs. Mirra Andreeva

Italian tennis is in full flight. Not only is Jannik Sinner in the men’s semis as the new world No. 1, but Jasmine Paolini is joyfully repping il Tricolore, too. This marks the first time Italy has had semifinalists in the both draws at any major.

Paolini is into her first career major semifinal after upsetting (4) Elena Rybakina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. She was the more aggressive player in the quarterfinals, and the win will advance her into the top 10 for the first time as well.

It’s easy to think of Paolini as being among the group of early twenty-somethings on tour, but she’s actually 28 years old. She may not have a ton of experience on big stages, but she certainly has more experience overall, and that should redound to her benefit here.

To wit, her opponent will be a full eleven years her junior.

17-year-old Mirra Andreeva ousted (2) Aryna Sabalenka in the day’s other big upset.

She has been on the tennis circuit’s “destined for greatness” radar for a while, and this is the best showing she has had in any tournament to date, let alone a major.

She bested four straight high-quality opponents in (19) Victoria Azarenka, Peyton Stearns, Varvara Gracheva, and now Sabalenka.

Those wins are no fluke.

Andreeva recently began working with Conchita Martinez, a sneaky good coach who has Andreeva pointed in the right direction.

Part of what makes Andreeva mature beyond her years is her ability to reframe situations to her advantage in real-time.

Against Frenchwoman and crowd-favorite Varvara Gracheva, Andreeva said that when the crowd was chanting Gracheva’s name, she imagined they were chanting her own.

On match point against Sabalenka, she pretended that she was saving a break point.

Reframing these moments is a veteran trick. Whether it comes naturally or she’s received sage advice from Martinez or others, it’s incredibly wise to draw on those types of reframes in tension-filled moments.

Or maybe she just has lady luck on her side. You see, she found a ladybug on the court in the final game of her quarterfinal match, and as she picked it up and moved it to safety, she thought to herself “this could be a sign.”

We’ll see. There’s another beautiful winged insect she may encounter, though: butterflies.

Winner: Mirra Andreeva