Tennis

Why Coco Gauff is Turning into the Story You Should Be Paying Attention to at Wimbledon

Why Coco Gauff is Turning into the Story You Should Be Paying Attention to at Wimbledon

Coco Gauff is a name you probably knew very little about going into Wimbledon – but she’s fast becoming the story you should be paying attention to.

The 15-year-old American shot into the general consciousness of sports when she shocked Venus Williams in the first round at the All England Club.

Gauff came into the tournament as 313th in the world rankings.

She went out of the US Open last year in the first round and managed the second round at the French Open earlier this year.

But Wimbledon has been very different for the star from Florida.

Williams may not be the dominant force that led her to seven major singles titles earlier in her career – that’s represented in her ranking at 44 in the world going into the tournament.

She’s failed to go beyond the third round of a slam since reaching the semi-final of the US Open in 2017.

And her French Open tilt ended in much the same way as her Wimbledon one, losing in the first round to Elina Svitolina.

Still, Williams would have been a formidable opponent for Gauff, who was starting her first Wimbledon campaign.

But the 6-4 6-4 victory for Coco signalled the start of what could be a glorious career for the 15-year-old.

And what’s even more impressive is that she followed it up with a 6-3 6-3 win over Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round.

Rybarikova might not have the profile of Williams, but she was ranked at just 17 in the world last year and was actually a semi-finalist at Wimbledon back in 2017.

Gauff dispatching her so comprehensively shows that this American isn’t just a giant-killing flash in the pan.

She’s here to stay.

Gauff faces Polona Hercog in the third round – and is the -190 favourite to win and continue her Wimbledon dream with NJ online sportsbook.

But caution must be urged when it comes to Hercog.

She might be number 60 in the world right now and has regularly struggled at slams, but the Slovenian has already Viktoria Kuzmova and Madison Keys out at Wimbledon.

Her victory over Keys is particularly impressive as Gauff’s fellow American is currently number 16 in the world and has reached a number of slam final and semi-finals in her career.

But Gauff should strike fear into Hercog and the 15-year-old should feel confident she can keep this run going.

If she does, it could be Victoria Azarenka or Simona Halep in the fourth round – two opponents that would be tough for any women in the draw.

Azarenka has made the semi-finals of Wimbledon twice in her career, while Halep has made the semis once, quarters twice and was the French Open champion in 2018.

At 15, Gauff has absolutely no pressure on her now that she’s shocked Williams and Rybarikova.

But if the dream continues then it signals the beginning of what could be a glittering career for Coco.

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