Wimbledon 2019: 15-year-old Cori Gauff Stuns Venus Williams in 1st Round
Wimbledon 2019: 15-year-old Cori Gauff defeated her idol and 5-time champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the first round.
Cori Gauff is the youngest women's singles player to feature in Wimbledon main draw in Open Era. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams was stunned by the 15-year-old Cori Gauff, known as Coco, in the first round at Court 1 of the All England Club on Monday.
It was a match-up between the oldest and the youngest in the draw and the younger one came out on top. Gauff beat Venus 6-4, 6-4 in quickfire fashion as the spectators took notice of the youngster's talent.
Gauff became the youngest player since 1991 to register a win in the first round of women's singles at Wimbledon.
Gauff had said ahead of the match that she had picked up the racquet because of the William sisters and Venus was her idol. Playing against her idol for the first time, Gauff did not looked fazed at all.
Her face straight and body language positive, Gauff came out all guns blazing right from the start. She had said ahead of the match that she had nothing to lose and she was only excited for the match-up and the youngster showed it on the court.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 1, 2019
For the 39-year-old Venus, it was like playing her own reflection. Serena Williams had said in the pre-tournament press conference that she sees a lot of similarity in the game style of Gauff and Venus and on Monday, it was for all to see.
Gauff matched Venus' ground stroke to ground stroke and they almost matched each other's powers too. The only place where Venus clearly held an edge was at the net but Gauff stifled Venus to the point that the former champion did not get too many opportunities to come forward.
For Gauff, she used the body serve to great effect against Venus, powering through her service games and not giving her idol much to work with. Both the first and second sets, it was Venus who blinked first and gave the advantage to Gauff.
In the first set, the 15-year-old showed immense composure to close out the set and get herself a big lead in the match.
In the second set however, leading 4-3, Gauff showed that she was after all only 15. Facing a couple of break points, Gauff saved one but double-faulted on the next to let Venus back in the match.
However, Gauff was not going to give up. She broke Venus once again in the very next service game after saving a couple of game points. Her power shots and high balls completely put Venus off her game.
Serving for the set, Gauff lost the first point and Venus in fact took the game to deuce but Gauff played beyond her maturity to take the match in her fourth match point.
As Williams hit the final ball into the net, Gauff put her hands on her head, looked shocked and overcome with emotions towards her box. Tears trickling down her eyes, she ran to the net and exchanged a few words with Venus before bathing in her victory.
Even after the match she failed to put words to her emotion. "I don't really know how to feel right now. It's the first time I have cried after winning a match," Gauff said.
It was a huge occasion for Gauff and she shared that she had to keep herself calm despite the magnanimity of the situation.
"I had to tell myself to be calm, I had never played here before. I had to tell myself that the lines were the same and the size of the court was the same even if everything else was bigger."
Gauff also revealed the words she and Venus exchanged at the net.
"She just told me 'congratulations and keep going and good luck.' I told her, 'I wouldn't be here if not for her, she's so inspiring, I always wanted to tell her that. I met her the other night, didn't have the guts to do so."
Gauff's parents cheered every point she won and every time the 15-year-old would play a brilliant point, she would look towards her box and pump her fists in celebration.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 1, 2019
"I don't know what my parents would say but they are super happy. My dad was jumping around with every point.
"I never thought this would happen, I am literally living my dream now. I am just happy Wimbledon gave me the opportunity to play."
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