Wimbledon Day 5:
Gauff Wins Thriller
Craig Ellenport | July 5, 2019
Cori “Coco” Gauff finally experienced some adversity at Wimbledon, and she aced it. After breezing through her first two matches at the All England Club this week, the 15-year-old Gauff had to stave off two match points Friday before making an improbable comeback and closing out a 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Polona Hercog of Slovenia.
“I’m just super relieved that it's over,” said Gauff after the match.
Gauff hadn’t lost a set at this year’s tournament – sweeping three matches last week in the qualifiers and not losing a set through the first two rounds. After losing the first set to Hercog, Gauff found herself down 5-2 in the second. She did not lose her composure or her confidence.
“When I was down 5-2, I was like, ‘I can fight back,’” she said during the post-match press conference. “Just need to hold serve and then break and then we’ll see what happens from there.”ADVERTISEMENT
That’s exactly what happened. After facing those two match points, Gauff got it to a tiebreak – the first of her professional career. After winning the tiebreak, 9-7, Gauff’s momentum helped her jump out to a 4-1 lead in the deciding set – only to see Hercog mount a comeback of her own. The set would be tied at 5-all before Gauff won the final two games to close out the match and make her the fifth-youngest player ever to advance to the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
Gauff’s next opponent will be No. 7 seed Simona Halep.
The only other American woman in singles action Friday was Danielle Collins, who lost to Croatia’s Petra Martic.
On the men’s side, 21-year-old Reilly Opelka couldn’t maintain his momentum after defeating No. 5-seed Dominic Thiem Wednesday. Opelka took Canada’s Milos Raonic to a first-set tiebreak in their third-round match, but Raonic won the tiebreak and pulled away from there, 7-6, 6-2, 6-1.
In men’s doubles, American Rajeev Ram and Salisbury of the United Kingdom, the No. 12 seeds, defeated Matthew Ebden and Vasek Pospisil.
In ladies’ doubles, American Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic, the No. 7 seed, defeated Desirae Krawczyk and Giuliana Olmos. America’s Abigail Spears and Nadiia Kichenok of the Ukraine defeated Kirsten Flipkens and Johanna Larsson.
In mixed doubles play, Venus Williams and Frances Tiafoe defeated Sarah Grey and Scott Clayton, 6-2, 6-3. Asia Muhammad and the United Kingdom’s Luke Bambridge defeated Rajeev Ram and Alison Riske, 6-3, 6-4. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and the United Kingdom’s Jamie Murray defeated Katy Dunne and Joe Salisbury, 7-5, 7-6.
American women playing singles action Saturday will be Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Alison Riske and Lauren Davis.
American men in singles action on Saturday will be Steve Johnson, Tennys Sandgren and sam Querrey.