Coco Gauff offers glimpse into tennis’ golden future with thrilling battle against former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber… her time on Centre Court will soon arrive despite the defeat
- Coco Gauff was eliminated from Wimbledon in two sets by Angelique Kerber
- Gauff nearly took each of the first two sets, but was no match for Keber’s serve
- Teen Gauff was making her first appearance in the fourth round at Wimbledon
- Kerber later waxed lyrical about the abilities of the young tennis sensation
Coco Gauff’s time on Centre Court will come. That much seems certain after another stirring run to Wimbledon’s second week.
For now, though, the 17-year-old remains a glimpse into tennis’ golden future after Angelique Kerber dipped into the past, and rolled back the years, en route to another quarter final.
The 2018 champion is the only previous winner left in the ladies’ draw and the only player the wrong side of 30, too.
If that makes the 33-year-old a reluctant torch bearer for the game’s more, er, senior citizens, then this display suggests the flame still burns bright.
Kerber (right) complimented her opponent after the match: ‘I have to say Coco (left) is such a great talented young player, she has such a great future in front of her’
The three-time major winner has not gone this far in a Slam since her victory at SW19 three years ago. She has toiled at times in these Championships, too.
Back on Centre Court on Monday, however, the 25th seed slammed the door on Gauff’s second quarter-final bid with a brilliant display of angles and nerve.
‘This is such a magic place for me,’ Kerber, a former world No 1, said.
‘She has such a great future in front of her,’ she added about Gauff, who remarkably feels part of the furniture already.
Gauff slips during her loss to Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Monday at Wimbledon
‘She’ll play here so many times again and maybe one time she’ll get the title.’ Not this year. For a while, this generation game fell hostage to the conditions.
A menacing wind wrought early havoc, with five breaks and the odd air-shot in the first five games. Both players struggled with their timing, ball toss and rhythm.
At 3-2, however, Kerber finally consolidated her advantage with the match’s first hold. And though Gauff’s own serve soon found its groove, the German kept her nose in front to take the opener 6-4. It was the first set the 20th seed had dropped all tournament and immediately the pair traded more break points.
An opening seemed to appear for Gauff, the darling of the Centre Court crowd, when Kerber began to limp early in the second set.
The US teenager felt the might of 2018 Wimbledon champion Kerber at the All England Club
Soon, though, the 33-year-old was moving freely enough to force another vital break – this time courtesy of a Gauff double fault.
That near-silenced the crowd, only for Gauff to rally. A beautiful drop shot earned the chance to break back but Kerber stood firm thanks to some scrambling defence and a remarkable capacity to dig out groundstrokes from around her ankles.
Soon the German’s wicked angles had Gauff slipping towards the grass. Down, and out – for another year anyway. She will be back.
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