Fifteen-year-old Cori Gauff knocked out five-time women’s champion Venus Williams on a sensational opening day to the 2019 Wimbledon Championships today.
Gauff, who came through qualifying at Roehampton last week, beat Williams in a dominant performance on No.1 Court on Monday evening, 6-4, 6-4.
Men’s sixth seed Alexander Zverev lost to Czech qualifier Jiri Veseley, while the seventh seed, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, lost to Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano in five sets and in just under three-and-a-half hours.
Speaking after his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 win over Zverev, Veseley said: “It was a great match, fantastic from beginning to end.
“Overall I think I played an unbelievable match without many mistakes.
“The pressure was a little bit on him, but he won the first set and then I started to play. I had nothing to lose anymore.
“After the second set the pressure came back on him. I tried to force it and all of a sudden I was two sets to one up. I think I have done really well today.”
In the women’s draw No.2 seed Naomi Osaka, from Japan, asked to leave her post-match press conference as her emotions got the better of her following her defeat to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
But there were no such problems for highly-fancied Karolina Pliskova – the No.3 seed defeating Lin Zhu of China 6-2, 7-6.
Britons Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund are both safely through to round two.
Watson was first up on No.12 Court and secured a straight sets win over Catherine McNally of the USA, 7-6, 6-2, while Edmund dealt comfortably with Spaniard Jaume Munar, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
And defending men’s champion, and world number one, Novak Djokovic took little over two hours to defeat Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
Djokovic dropped his serve in the opening game of the match – playing first on Centre Court on the first Monday, which is tradition for the defending men’s champion.
But he fought back with two quick breaks of his own, and although the German put up a determined fight in the second and third sets, Djokovic’s quality shone through towards the end of both, and he will be back on Wednesday.
But the story of the day was undoubtedly Gauff’s win over Williams, who together with her sister Serena has dominated these Championships for the past two decades. In fact Venus’ first win at the All-England Club came four years before Gauff was even born.
Gauff, the youngest player ever to qualify for the main draw, said immediately after her famous victory: “Honestly I don’t really know how to feel.
“This was definitely the first time I ever cried after winning a match. I don’t even know how to explain how I feel.
“I had to tell myself to stay calm, I’d never played on a court so big. I had to remind myself that the lines are the same size.”