Coco Gauff, 15, beats Polonia Hercog at Wimbledon, advancing to Round 4

Arnold Nichols
July 6, 2019

As Cori "Coco" Gauff fell back 5-2 in the second set to Polona Hercog after dropping the first set, it looked as though the 15-year-old's extraordinary Wimbledon run was coming to a close.

When it was an all-win day for top-three male tennis players Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, three-time title victor Stan Wawrinka faced a disappointing defeat against his tallest opponent, Reilly Opelka of America who thrashed the Swiss veteran by 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 in the second round. Gauff converted her first break point of the entire match and took the game, and then won two more with the crowd roaring behind her to tie the second set at five games.

In the third round, she'll play No. 60 Polona Hercog, who ousted Madison Keys in straight sets on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Slovenian player then double-faulted on the next point.

Before play even started, Gauff was the fourth favorite according to some British oddsmakers despite only ever winning one top-level encounter prior to Wimbledon.

But Gauff found herself with her back against the wall several times during the tense nail-biter of a match.

Barty, who is bidding to become only the eighth woman to achieve the double of the French Open and Wimbledon titles in the same year, said Gauff had also displayed battling qualities to even reach the main draw.

Che Seabourne: Well this is turning into quite the story for Coco Gauff! After advancing to the round of 16, she's now ranked in the top-150, and could move into the top-100 with a win over 7-seed Simona Halep in her next match.

The singer is a regular visitor, alongside her husband Jay-Z, to Serena Williams' matches at grand slam events, and Gauff said said she had been stunned at the reaction to her Wimbledon performances, including recognition from Beyonce's mother.

The daughter of athletes - father Corey, who coaches her, played basketball at Georgia State and mother Candi, a gymnast, switched to track and field at university - typically stressed on her work ethic.

"There are a lot of factors that go into that, but I think as long as she stays happy and is able to continue to play well, I think she ll be fine".

With Hercog serving facing a break point at 1-2, Gauff returned a simple backhand - it should have been bread and butter, but Hercog's loose forehand landed in the tramlines to gift her opponent the breakthrough.

Gauff said she is a huge Beyonce fan.

A sprinkler problem caused a bit of splash on one of the outside courts at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, Teenager Dayana Yastremska has made it to the fourth round on her Wimbledon debut after defeating Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic 7-5 6-3 on Court 12. "Come on!" Afterward, she said, "I always knew that I could come back, no matter what the score is".

Zhang Shuai of China became the first player to reach the second week of Wimbledon after knocking out former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. The No 1 seed got a brief test in the third round before quickly righting himself and getting past Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4.

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