American tennis prodigy Cori Gauff, who is also the youngest ever player to qualify for Wimbledon Open, stunned five-time Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the first round on Monday.
The 15-year-old Gauff, who is a wild card entrant, defeated one of her biggest idols in straight sets on court number one at the All England Club on her grand slam debut. She won the first set in 35 minutes and was the better player as she played her shots freely without reflecting a slight hint of nervousness against one of the legends of the game. She broke her opponent in the fifth game and rallied on to take the first set 6-4.
In the second set Williams held three match point of Gauff and forced a breakpoint to make the scoreline 4-4. Just when court one thought that the joyride had come to and end, the teenager broke her again in the next game and did not fail to win her fourth match point in the following one. Gauff won her dream debut match in 1 hour and 19 minutes, causing an upset on the first day of the tournament itself.
“I wouldn’t say I didn’t expect to win the match,” Gauff said at the post-match conference. “I knew that I was going to go out there and play the way I play. I wasn’t surprised that I won. I mean, I was just overwhelmed at the end. I’ve never played on a court that big, the crowd was really wild. I was just surprised that people were cheering me on,” she continued.
She further added, “I said this before: I want to be the greatest. My dad told me that I could do this when I was eight. Obviously you never believe it. I’m still not 100% confident. But you have to just say things. You never know what happens.”
Rightly so, her 100% is yet to come, but in Gauff the world yesterday saw a glimpse of how the future of Tennis would look like and Williams saw her younger self who may play better than her during her prime. It’s not every day a 15-year-old comes and beat a legend in straight sets who had won four of her seven grand slams even before she was born.