Coco Gauff, the star of this year’s tournament, moves on to the round of 16. Gauff barely qualified for Wimbledon and was added as a wild card, so just getting to play on the historic courts was seen as a success for Gauff. Now, to have won three matches and be one of the last 16 players in the world playing at a major tournament is unthinkable for what Gauff could do.
Today also marked the first time she was able to play on Center Court, one of the most prestigious courts in the world, and being able to calm her nerves on such a big stage will serve her well. Gauff defeated Polona Hercog, ranked 60th in the world, who got past Madison Keys in the second round. Polona has never gotten past the third round in a major tournament and was trying to get into uncharted waters along with Gauff. Polona won the first set 6-3 and then Gauff forced a tiebreaker in the second set after being down 5-2. Gauff then went down 5-3 only come back after tiebreak to win 9-7 in one of the longest rallies of the tournament.
Gauff would then win set three and understandably express a great deal of emotion in an otherwise reserved sport.
At times Gauff has shown her inexperience but most of the time she looks calm and confident even when she is facing players presumably better than her. When asked about her confidence at Wimbledon she responded with, “I feel like I have always been confident in myself. I think I have learned that I am capable of a lot of things. I feel like my confidence has been the same the whole tournament.”
Gauff will need all the confidence she has in her next match against Simona Halep who is seeded 7th. Halep is the first seeded opponent Gauff has faced.
Two seeded players did get upset today, both in straight sets. The matches were Caroline Wozniacki who was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Shuai Zhang and Anett Kontaveit losing to Karolina Muchova 7-6, 6-3.
The rest of the third round is played tomorrow with coverage on the ESPN family of networks starting at 6 am ET. The two all seeded matchups involve Serena Williams taking on Julia Görges and Sloane Stephens against Johanna Konta.