WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Cori Gauff became the youngest ever female qualifier at Wimbledon this year and today in a match against Venus Williams she showed why.
American 15-year-old Cori Gauff made a big statement of intent for her talent following a 6-4, 6-4 first round win at Wimbledon over seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams in London on Monday.
Gauff became the youngest ever female qualifier at Wimbledon this year, while Williams was the oldest player in the draw at 39 years old.
Williams won four of her seven majors before Gauff was born in 2004 and the 24-year age gap between them is the biggest since a 43-year-old Kimiko Date lost to Belinda Bencic, aged 16 at the 2014 Australian Open.
The Atlanta-based teen Gauff secured the first break for a 4-2 head start and rallied to the first set in 32 minutes after Williams dumped a return into the net.
In the second set, both players faulted behind their serves to trade breaks and remain even at 4-4.
Gauff roared after she stretched for a winner at the net and watched the return from Williams sail long to offer her an opportunity to serve for the match at 5-4.
Three match points went by before Gauff sunk to her knees when Williams wilted with another failed return.
After the waves of courtesy and thank you’s to the Court One crowd, Gauff kneeled by her courtside chair and prayed.
Gauff will next meet Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova after she knocked out 10th seed Aryna Sabalenka with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
There was another shock on day one in the women’s draw as Australian and US Open champion Naomi Osaka was stunned 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 by Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
The 21-year-old Japanese star refused to use her youth as an excuse for the mistakes she made in the first round.
“I wouldn’t blame my age on anything,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of good things. I’ve done a lot of bad things. I guess, learning how to have fun, taking pressure off myself. I hope I can somehow find a way to do that.”
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