Coco Gauff at Wimbledon: Qualifying wildcard, beating Venus and winning from 3-6 2-5 and match point down!

Over the years there have been some quite memorable stories at Wimbledon.

In 2018 the American won the junior singles at Roland Garros and since then noise picked up around Gauff. When the news broke of Gauff’s wildcard into qualifying at SW19 it was an opportunity to watch one of the tours brightest upcoming stars at the qualifying in Roehampton.

Little did we expect what followed to happen for Gauff but it was absolutely magnificent!

What makes this sport soo great is moments like these, it wasn’t about being given an opportunity but creating one and coming through qualifying was a great achievement in itself at just 15 but what she did next was like a fairytale.

Fate put her up against Venus Williams one of her idols and the similarities in their games are almost mirror like. This was a meeting between the youngest and the oldest at Wimbledon and something Gauff wanted to happen in Miami but didn’t quite make it to the third round there. 

In front of a Court 1 crowd at Wimbledon the teenager oozed confidence and was incredibly strong on her forehand and serve as she won 6-4 6-4 against the former five time champion Venus Williams.

Back on court one again she defeated Magdalena Rybarikova before in the fourth round losing to Simona Halep but the match before that one against Polona Hercog was the big talking point.

Gauff was debuting on Centre Court against the Slovenian who gave as good as she got in the early exchanges before a forehand into the open court put her ahead. A massive double fault from Coco sealed the set for Polona who then continued to up her level.

At 6-3 5-2 40-30 the Slovenian had match point. People had started writing their Coco Gauff exit pieces ten minutes before but even from this position a comeback looked incredible unlikely.

Incredible unlikely but not impossible. The teenager came up with a big drop shot slice to save match point and then a game later was gifted a save as Hercog double faulted. Hercog continued to play as she was but Coco just wasn’t missing. 

The backhand slice was clever in taking the pace away from the Slovenian and then suddenly from 2-5 down the 15 year old won 9-7 in a tie-break.

Centre Court over the years has seen many of stories and Coco Gauff was on the cusp of adding to that list. 

After two hours and 47 minutes for a teenager who had played 6 matches in 11 days on an unknown surface suddenly had match point at 6-5 in the third. 

Polona pulled off an excellent drop shot from the baseline but the tenacity and speed of Gauff quickly sent it back over and subsequent lob went long as Gauff jumped with joy following an incredible comeback.

Next up for the teenager was Simona Halep but the Romanian who went onto win the title had too much as she won 6-3 6-3 against the American.

Since then Coco Gauff has continued to climb the rankings. A good run in New York and Melbourne and a first title in Linz followed all before she turned 16 incredibly!

Screenshot 2020-04-25 at 12.32.53

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