15-year-old Coco Gauff advances to third round at Wimbledon after beating Magdalena Rybarikova


Cori “Coco” Gauff’s first-ever Grand Slam tournament is going better than she could have ever imagined. Just two days after beating her idol Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon, the 15-year-old defeated Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the third round.

Gauff stayed intense and focused throughout, letting her powerful serve carry her and set the tone for the match. Rybarikova never seemed to find her groove, while Gauff looked comfortable from the start. Gauff’s aggression cost her a few times — she fought for balls she had no realistic chance of getting — but it let Rybarikova know that she would fight for every single point.

Rybarikova found some life in the second set, coming back from 40-15 to win the fourth game and then challenged Gauff to win the fifth game. But Gauff kept fighting for every point, making returns at every chance and preventing Rybarikova from ever getting comfortable. She looked just as good at the end of the match as she did at the start, and played even better tennis than she did against Venus Williams in the first round.

Gauff, who has stayed cool under intense Wimbledon pressure both on and off the court, had a moment earlier in the day that most 15-year-old tennis players can only dream of. Roger Federer recognized her while he was walking by and introduced himself, and wished her luck in her match.

She even stayed cool when Federer shook her hand, but she broke into a huge smile and asked, “You got that on camera?” after he walked away.

After two straight victories at her very first Wimbledon, she should expect more moments like that. She’ll have plenty of chances between now and Friday, when she’ll face Polona Hercog in the third round.

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