Thursday 21 November 2019

Teen star Gauff faces Halep test

Cori Gauff
Cori Gauff

Cori Gauff's Wimbledon fairytale heads into the second week, but her biggest test yet is waiting for her in the fourth round.

The 15-year-old American has been the story of the Championships so far, having come through qualifying to beat Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog in a magical few days that have seen her become a global star.

She has been left star-struck as the likes of Michelle Obama, Jaden Smith, Samuel L Jackson and Reese Witherspoon have all reached out to her on social media, admitting that her life has changed.

It has been a week that she will remember forever, but her tennis will come under serious examination as she faces former world No.1 Simona Halep in the last 16 today.

Halep is a grand slam winner, but that is not going to change Gauff's outlook.

"I think I'm just going to approach her like every other match I have been approaching," she said. "My routine has been working pretty well so that's how I'm going to go into the match. I don't know if it will feel any different. We'll see when I go on the court."

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty's attempts to make it back-to-back slams and enjoyed a trouble-free first week and she will be expected to dispatch grass-court specialist Alison Riske.

"You ask any opponent that plays Alison, she's up for the fight, makes you work for every single point," said Barty.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova was not even sure she was going to play as she was sidelined with an arm injury, but the rest looks to have done her good as she has sailed through the first week.

Next up is a Centre Court meeting with home favourite Johanna Konta, who is at this stage for the second time in her career.

"I'm really glad that I can play my game without any pain," Kvitova said.

Serena Williams has a Court One date with Carla Suarez Navarro, while Karolina Pliskova is hoping to make it to a first Wimbledon quarter-final by beating Czech compatriot Karolina Muchova.

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