The 15-year old Coco Gauff has made another sensation, by defeating Polona Hercog from Slovenia in Wimbledon’s third round. The young American came out victorious from this one after two hours and 45 minutes of a huge battle, coming back after losing the first set, and saving Hercog’s match points.
In the end, the result was 2-1 for the 313th player in the WTA rankings, by sets 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5.
“Right now I’m just super relieved it’s over,” the sensation of the tournament spoke after the match.
Everybody believed that she doesn’t have enough power to compete with a much older and more experienced rival after the end of the first set. But the stubbornness and extraordinary mental strength of Gauff was the key reason for this magnificent comeback.
Hercog had a 5-2 lead in the second set, confidently cruising towards the fourth round. She even had a break point chance which would seal the match, at 30-40, but somehow Gauff defended herself with a perfect slice which landed on the line.
However, Hercog still had everything in her hands, because she served for the win. And again, the player from Slovenia had an opportunity to close the match, but instead of using it, she made a double fault. In the end, when looking at the overall statistic of this event, there is one very notable figure which might explain why she lost this contest.
Hercog had only 47% of her first serve successful. With such a poor opening strike, you can’t compete at Wimbledon regardless of the opponent.
After winning the second set in the tie break, Gauff found her rhythm. She took Hercog’s serve in the fourth game but lost that edge three games later. Still, when needed the most, the teen broke her rival. It was after the twelfth game when the fans went crazy at the stands of the Central Court of All England Club.
“People say Court 1 is my court, but maybe Centre could be now. I always knew I could come back, I just went for my shots,” Gauff said.
She will be facing the world No.1 in the next round, Simona Halep, who sliced the former first-placed player in the WTA rankings and the two-time Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka. The Romanian player gave just four games to her rival, 6-1, 6-3. She came to London as the biggest favorite to win the title and is looking good for the moment.
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Meanwhile, Gauff is not concerned with that, and she doesn’t want to think about the clash with Halep. Right now, she has more important things on her mind, and that is a mixed doubles contest.
“I’m not going to think about [the next round]. I think I have a mixed doubles match tomorrow, so I’m going to focus on that.”
John McEnroe is thrilled with the way the talented youngster plays, saying that Gauff plays very mature for her age.
“She is a great thinker on court,” commented one of the greatest of all time. “She sizes up her opponent and figures out what she needs to do. She was matching the slices with an opponent who loves that shot.”
McEnroe also stated that she has good chances against Halep because of her style of play.
Just to remind all, Gauff went through the qualifications for the tournament, earning her place in the main draw. After that, she stunned Venus Williams in the first round, eliminating the five-time champion here at Wimbledon with 2-0. In the second round, Gauff defeated Magdalena Rybarikova, before making another memorable appearance earlier today.
The encounter with Halep is scheduled for this Sunday, at noon local time in London.