Former world No. 1 Simona Halep beat Gauff 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth round on Monday to advance to the quarterfinals, where she will play China’s Zhang Shuai. The American tennis prodigy is the youngest player to have gone this far at Wimbledon since a 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati in 1991.
“Coco” Gauff had already set a record by becoming the youngest player to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon in the professional era before beating her idol, five-time champion Venus Williams on day one of the tournament.
Gauff then beat Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets on the No. 1 Court to reach the third round and secured a 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Polona Hercog to reach the second week.
Today Halep broke Gauff five times and took advantage of 29 unforced errors. “I learned a lot about how to play in front of a big crowd and how to play under pressure. I am really grateful for the experience,” Gauff said after her meeting with Halep.
A Florida native, Gauff already had success before reaching Wimbledon, having won the 2018 Junior French Open.
“Coco” Gauff’s Wimbledon run also caught the attention of tennis legend Billie Jean King, who said she’s her fan, tweeting: “Your journey is far from over. Looking forward to watching your future success on the court and off. #BigFan“
Gauff’s fairy tale might have ended but this is only the beginning for her as she clearly has all the ingredients needed to be a future Grand Slam champion. Watching her at Wimbledon this year was fun and I personally look forward to her next tournament.