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Cori Gauff reflects on extraordinary Wimbledon run

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 9 Jul 2019
  • Gauff's dream run at Wimbledon was halted in the fourth round by Halep
  • The 15-year-old has gone from outside the top 300 and into the top 150
  • She's already planning on winning the next tournament she enters
Cori Gauff (PA Images)

Teenage sensation Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff is already plotting to win the next tournament she enters after her stunning Wimbledon debut came to an end in the fourth round on Manic Monday.

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After becoming the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open Era as a wildcard and toppling five-time champion Venus Williams, 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova and coming back from 3-6 2-5 down and saving two match points to defeat Polona Hercog in her first match on Centre Court, 15-year-old Gauff’s stunning run was finally halted by former World No. 1 Simona Halep as the Romanian produced a clinical match to emerge victorious by a 6-3 6-3 scoreline on Monday.

Cori Gauff (PA Images)
Experiencing something new almost every day of her spectacular two-week run at The Championships, Gauff said the lessons she picked up over the fortnight have been invaluable.

"I learned a lot. I learned how to play in front of a big crowd. I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I learned a lot and I'm really thankful for this experience," Gauff said.
"I had a lot of fun. I still had fun out on the court today even though I was losing. I don't know how to describe how I feel now because, like, the match is still freshly new. We'll see how I feel in a couple hours.
"I lost second round of qualifying in Paris [at the French Open]. Now, I made it to the second week. I'm super proud of myself. I'm excited to see what I'll do at US Open and the next couple tournaments coming up."

At just 15 years of age, Gauff is limited to the number of tour-level events she can enter. Indeed, WTA rules state that the American can only play 10 tournaments between her 15th and 16th birthdays, and with already five under her belt, she will be looking to prioritise key U.S. Open Series warm-up tournaments before turning her attention to the last Grand Slam of the season, where she’ll undoubtedly be handed a wildcard.

Whatever tournament she ends up at next, Gauff harbours ambitions of winning it and continuing her meteoric rise up the rankings after propelling herself from outside the top 300 and into the top 150 courtesy of her Wimbledon run.

Cori Gauff (PA Images)
"I don't know my schedule right now because I wasn't expecting to be here, but my next goal would be to win the next tournament I play. I don't know what the next tournament will be. We'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll be playing some tournaments in the US Open Series," she said.
"I mean, like I said, if somebody told me this maybe three weeks ago, I probably wouldn't believe it. I think just putting in the work definitely raised my confidence because I knew how hard I worked and I knew what shots I could make and what was possible.”

Gauff is also coming to terms with her new-found fame after her scintillating tennis generated headlines around the world and was reported to have drawn in over five million viewers on the BBC alone.

So spectacular was her run, it captured the attention of various high-profile figures around the world, including former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

"It meant a lot to me because I've looked up to her [Michelle Obama] for a long time. She's such a role model. I mean, I was really shocked. I wasn't expecting that. That was probably one of the least expected.
"I don't even know who I was expecting from. Some of the celebrities that tweeted me I didn't even know followed tennis. They probably don't follow tennis, but...I don't know, it's crazy how big this has gotten."

Gauff is set to take a short mini-holiday with her family before turning her attention to the U.S. summer of tennis.

Halep meanwhile goes on to face the unseeded Zhang Shuai in the quarter-finals, with the winner to meet either Elina Svitolina or Karolina Muchova for a spot in the final.

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Cori Gauff reflects on extraordinary Wimbledon run

Teenage sensation Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff is already plotting to win the next tournament she enters after her stunning Wimbledon debut came to an end in the fourth round on Manic Monday.

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