LONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 5 – Teen sensation Coco Gauff showed remarkable resilience in saving two match points to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon, beating Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-5 on Friday.
The 15-year-old, who had already claimed the scalps of Venus Williams and 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova, was not as assured as in her previous performances.
However, her 28-year-old opponent let her nerves overcome her at the most crucial moment, double faulting on her second match point in the second set.
Gauff came through in the tie break which went back and forth as neither player could take advantage of mini-breaks.
Hercog, who has yet to make the last 16 of a Grand Slam in 11 years of trying, went off for a medical time out at the end of the second set.
However, despite being broken by Gauff early on she broke back only for her serve to falter once again as she served to stay in the match.
Whilst her parents stood to applaud their daughter, Gauff danced a little jig of joy as the umpire called the score at the end of the 2hr 47 minute marathon.
“I’m just super relieved that it’s over, it was a long match,” said Gauff.
“She (Hercog) was playing unbelievable. It was my first match on Centre Court, people say Court One is my court, maybe Centre can be too.
“I knew I could come back in the second set so I juts kept going for my shots.”
Gauff, who stll has a way to go to emulate the then 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati reaching the semi-finals in 1991, will play former world number one Simona Halep of Romania for a place in the last eight.