Few but the most avid tennis aficionados had heard of Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, before The Championships began at Wimbledon. However, the supremely talented young American has been taking the Ladies’ Singles tournament by storm.
The 15-year-old stunned everyone when she beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the opening round on No.1 court, winning the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 and at the same time, showing absolutely no signs of intimidation against such a powerful opponent, or the big crowd that watched on in awe and disbelief.
Proving that victory was no fluke, Coco then produced another comprehensive display of stellar tennis in her second-round match against Magdalena Rybarikova, comfortably beating the Slovakian 6-3, 6-3, for yet another straight sets triumph on No.1 court. As fans cheered on the American youngster, they also wondered just how far she was capable of going.
The answer to that question came this Friday on the biggest stage at Wimbledon, this time against Polona Hercog of Slovenia on the hallowed grass of Centre Court. Experience and an age advantage of thirteen years looked to be the difference in the first set, as Hercog swept to a first set 6-3 advantage.
However, fans were on the very edge of their seats as Gauff recovered her composure and embarked upon a spectacular comeback. The teenager demonstrated the kind of resilience that we might expect from veterans of the game, absorbing the pressure and quality shots from her rival, taking the second set 7-6(7) following a thrilling tie-break.
Now filled with confidence and despite the very best efforts of Hercog, this was all about Gauff again, as Gauff clinched the third set 7-5 after two hours and 46 minutes of memorable tennis, securing another famous victory and passage to the Fourth Round. The next question on everyone’s lips is whether anyone will be capable of stopping this phenomenal rising star.
The comeback kid - and then some! 👏
15-year-old @CocoGauff's irresistible run at #Wimbledon continues, rallying from a set down to defeat Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 pic.twitter.com/bS79tUkMwG
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2019
Despite three superb displays of Coco sending the Wimbledon crowds loco, Gauff is still considered to be an outsider for the Ladies’ Singles title this year. Her 16/1 odds at Paddy Power would suggest the young American is seriously considered to be a genuine challenger, but with plenty of powerful potential opponents still involved, there’s still a long way to go.
The next test for Gauff will be her most challenging to date, facing 27-year-old Simona Halep in the Fourth Round. The Romanian tennis star is 7th seed at the tournament this year and has also been very impressive, sweeping aside Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the First Round, compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu in the Second Round, then Victoria Azarenka in the Fourth Round.
There’s absolutely no doubt that reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon is already an amazing feat for Gauff, who seems destined to become a tennis superstar for many years to come. Already having admitted that her idol is Serena Williams, given the draw format for The Championship, that would only happen if both players reach the final. What a fairy tale achievement that would be!