Custom Search 1

Gauff's Wimbledon fairytale continues

WIMBLEDON FAIRYTALE: American teenager Cori Gauff is through to the third round of the tournament

CORI 'COCO' Gauff, the 15-year-old American tennis prodigy, will break into the world's top 200 next week following her 6-3 6-3 success over Magdalena Rybarikova at Wimbledon on Wednesday evening.

Gauff, who became the youngest player to win a singles match at SW19 since 1991 by dispatching the legendary Venus Williams in the opening round, continued her remarkable run on grass.

She sizzled on the show court to hit 18 winners and thump down a pair of aces that sealed her spot in the third round courtesy of another confident display on No.1 Court.

Returning to the arena where she brushed aside five-time Wimbledon singles champion Williams, only because her match was moved up from Court 2, Gauff made history as the contest became the first to start under the new roof on Court No.1.

Her Slovakian opponent, a Wimbledon semi-finalist two years ago, misjudged a backhand shot on a break point on her serve in the sixth game to gift Gauff a deserved two-game cushion.

Determined Gauff wrapped up the opening set in 29 minutes and continued to bombard former top 20 ace Rybarikova with deep shots and sharp angles.

The teenager appeared to be tearing towards victory after a break in the third game and then held her serve for a 3-1 second set lead, but experienced a brief wobble.

Rybarikova saved two break points to battle back and clinch the fifth game to remain in with a chance.

But once Gauff figured out how to deal with her 30-year-old opponent's sliced shots there was only going to be one winner.

The American's natural athleticism and ferocious returns proved too much for Rybarikova, who was broken again and bowed out to the crowd's overwhelming favourite in a fascinating encounter.

Gauff's incredible record of having not dropped a set in three qualifiers and two main draw matches means she will be riding high on confident for her next challenge.

Standing between Gauff and a second week at SW19 is Friday's opponent Polona Hercog. The Slovenian had few problems to stun out-of-sorts no.17 seed Madison Keys 6-2 6-4.

Gauff started the day on the practice courts, where she was watched by 18-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal of Spain. Then she was approached for a chat by Swiss maestro Roger Federer, an eight-time Wimbledon singles champion.

To conclude her day with a thumping win over a grass court expert on a show court with a retractable roof making a first appearance was surely like a dream with a fairytale ending for the affable Gauff.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments