Wimbledon: 15-year-old Cori Gauff in the round of 16
When the last point was won, it was loud on the center court of Wimbledon. The spectators had just witnessed a new chapter in the tennis fairy tale of Cori Gauff, only 15 years old. The American defeated Polona Hercog of Slovenia in a dramatic match in round three with 3: 6, 7: 6 (9: 7), 7: 5 and is for the first time in the first knockout round of Wimbledon. There she will meet former world number one Simona Halep from Romania on Monday.
"I am now relieved that it is over," said Gauff after the match and seemed incredibly professional for a 15-year-old. This mental strength she had previously used against Hercog.
Two match balls repulsed
After a clear 3: 6 in the first set Gauff was also in the second set 2: 5 in arrears and thus the defeat very close. But she fended off two match points, equalized 5: 5, and after some minor errors by Hercog, she escaped to the tiebreak amidst the cheers of most spectators. There, the US-American enforced the third set with a 9: 7.
"I knew I could come back at any time," said Gauff, who sensationally knocked Venus Williams out of the tournament in the first round of Wimbledon and has since thrilled the tennis world.
Before the third sentence, Hercog was treated by her physiotherapist in the cabin. After the Slovenian could compensate after the second game, Gauff moved to 4: 1 thereof. But then the tennis talent got out of rhythm and let Hercog get to 4: 4. Gauff won another game, Hercog defended himself against the defeat and made up for 5: 5. Now it was a dramatic back and forth. But Gauff showed nerve strength that was rarely seen at that age and won the match after two hours and 57 minutes.
"The crowd here was just great, maybe the Center Court will be my court," Gauff said, before pointing out that she will be competing against Robert Lindstedt and Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday together with British Jay Clarke (4pm). "That's what I'm focusing on now," Gauff said.
On Monday it will then continue in singles for the tennis surprise of this year. Then she meets Halep. A younger eighth-finalist at Wimbledon was last in 1991: Jennifer Capriati from the United States even entered the semi-finals.
Maybe even the tennis fairy tale by Cori Gauff has one or two chapters.