New kid Coco Gauff wows them again to steal more Wimbledon hearts

Wimbledon’s new kid on the block served further notice of an athleticism and focus beyond her 15 years to cruise into the third round of the women’s singles.

Coco Gauff announced her uncanny precociousness in seeing off former champion Venus Williams on Monday in straight sets and she looked equally beguiling in overwhelming Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova on Court One.

In winning the first set 6-3 in less than half an hour, she won 93 per cent of her first serves, and the accuracy and power she summoned up will have alerted future opponents that we may have a natural heir to Serena Williams brewing.

Except she has not shown the sort of inflamed passions Williams often demonstrates in the heat of battle. A cool, expressionless demeanour has characterised her progress so far. The youngster was chillingly professional and always on top of her game. She was composed and classy throughout.

The second set was never in doubt for the teenager, who took it 6-3 – finally allowing herself a few smiles and waves at the crowd hen it was over.

“I think I played well. Especially in the pressure points,” she said. “I’m still shocked that I’m even here. But I think I can beat anyone that’s across the court.”

Gauff’s win under a closed roof at the end of day three of the Championships was a fitting end to day which saw the demise of two home players and the serene progress of some favourites.

Kyle Edmund appeared to be on course for victory when he stormed to a two set led over Fernando Verdasco. The British number one even led 3-0 in the third, but was eventually beaten on a tie break which allowed the Spaniard to recover and take the match 6-4 in the fifth set.

A bad slip at the back of the court tweaked his knee and clearly played a part in his demise.

Heather Watson’s hopes also evaporated, as she fell away 6-1 in the second set against Estonian Anett Kontaveit after being edged out 7-5 in a much tighter opening set.

Top seed Novak Djokavic looked imperious in his second outing of the tournament, burying the American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and the man he beat in last year’s final, fourth seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa, overcame Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in four sets.

There was a disappointing exit for Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss losing 8-6 in a deciding set to Reilly Opelka of the USA, after he had taken a 2-1 lead to put himself in the driving seat.

But Queen’s Club watchers who marvelled at the promise shown by another of tennis’ newcomers, Felix Auger-Aliassime, will not be surprised that he is still going strong.

The 18-year-old Canadian dropped the second set against Frenchman Corentin Moutet, but lost only six more games in closing out the next two sets.

Another Canadian is through too – former finalist Milos Raonic a comfortable straight sets winner over Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

Day four will have quite a British flavour, with Jay Clarke gearing up for the match of his life against eight-times winner Roger Federer on Court One, and Cameron Norrie taking on Kei Nishikori of Japan in the first match on Centre Court.

That match is followed by Johanna Konta’s second round clash against Russian Siniakova, while Harriet Dart takes on Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil – conqueror of Garbine Muguruza in round one. That match takes place at 11am on Court 12.

And on Court Two, Dan Evans faces the Georgian 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, who defeated James Ward in a five setter on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *