Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

WTA Wimbledon: Simona Halep downs Cori Gauff. Konta ousts Kvitova

WTA Wimbledon: Simona Halep downs Cori Gauff. Konta ousts Kvitova

It took someone of Halep's pedigree - a former world No. 1 and grand slam victor - to finally subdue the precocious Gauff 6-3 6-3 on the same court where her transformative fortnight at Wimbledon began by defeating one of her idols, Venus Williams.

After beating Polona Hercog to set up a Round of 16 battle with Halep, Gauff got plenty of attention of social media, with everyone from Michelle Obama to Joel Embiid chiming in to congratulate the Floridian on a comeback that took almost three hours. At 5-2, the seventh seed forced two match points but, once again, the teenager showed incredible courage to fight back from 15-40 down to hold serve.

Halep, who had given an indication of her form when dismissing the unsafe Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in the last round, had to work hard before eventually taking a relatively even first set.

Coco became the youngest player at the Championships in the Open era when she qualified at Roehampton.

"It was really surprising because you don't really expect this kind of support when you're in another country, not your home country", a tearful Cori said in the wake of her defeat to Simona Halep. "And got our pastor doing a sermon series about the Coco factor".

On the bottom half, it'll be No 8 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine against Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, and Halep against Zhang Shuai of China.

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"If somebody told me this maybe three weeks ago, I probably wouldn't believe it", she said, wiping away a tear or two.

"She has potential to be a very good player", she said.

I personally was nothing like her at 15. I learned a lot and I'm really thankful for this experience. I learned how to play in front of a big crowd, I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I started tennis at six.

Gauff lost in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to the 27-year-old Romanian at the All England Club, but has won over legions of new fans after her remarkable journey to the last 16 of the prestigious tournament. After her extraordinary run in the United Kingdom tennis tournament, she is set to bank $233,500. But as always, the real money for Gauff won't come from her prize winnings or the sport's performance bonuses (as lucrative as they may be), but from product endorsements.

"Well the last time I faced a fellow American I lost, so I definitely want to do well this time", Williams said. She has played a lot of matches, and got a lot of attention. Automatic entry is usually reserved for roughly the top 100 players in the world, otherwise she may have to qualify for the tournament.

In her previous match the American had saved two match points against Polona Hercog before mounting an improbably comeback.

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