Gauff Sets Kerber Monday Showdown, Teen Raducanu Shines In Wimbledon Debut, Barty Better
by Staff | July 3rd, 2021, 5:38 pm
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Coco Gauff is not afraid of the big stage. Just 17, the American improved to 3-0 on Wimbledon’s historic Centre Court after easing past Kaja Juvan 6-3, 6-3.

Gauff is back into her second straight Wimbledon fourth round, and this year she did it without losing a set or even being tested.

“I would say this is the best I feel on my serve,” Gauff said. “Honestly, every time I play on grass, my serve feels pretty good just because the court’s faster. Some balls that might not be non-returnable actually are. Same with aces.

Gauff will face her real test on Monday as she’ll meet 2018 champion Angelique Kerber. The German was down 5-1 in the first set to Aliaksandra Samsonova, but after a 90-minute rain delay Kerber turned things around and ended up dominating in a 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 win.

“I really had a late start, let’s say like this,” said Kerber. “Of course, it was good that it was raining a little bit. But I think for me the key was at the end that I came back on court and I was pushing myself, trying to be aggressive, not only pushing the balls. She played really well in the first few games, but then I started going out there starting from zero, not thinking about the score.”

Kerber and Gauff has never met. And Gauff will be back on Centre on Monday.

“Really nice person off the court,” Gauff said of Kerber. “I remember when she won Wimbledon. I don’t know, I guess it was a win that a lot of people weren’t expecting at the time. I mean, she did it. She obviously knows what it takes to win at this level.”

After two sub-par performances, top seed Ash Barty looked a little better today in handling Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 7-5. Barty had a blip in the second blowing a two break lead but managed to get it done in straight sets.

“Another second week of a Slam,” Barty said. “It’s always exciting. I feel like the consistency for me over the last couple of years, two years, not including 2020, has been good. It’s been nice to be putting myself deeper into these tournaments at the Slams.”

Barty, into her second straight Wimbledon fourth round, will face fellow French winner Barbora Krejcikova. The Czech improved her win streak to 15 after edging former US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-5.

“It was really tough today. I was really just battling with myself a lot, because I wasn’t really feeling well,” Krejcikova said. “I really don’t remember much what was happening. I was just there. I was just try to fight for every ball, and it was really up and down.

“At the end, when she missed the last ball, I was just extremely happy that it’s over. I was really happy it’s over.”

Krejcikova looked ahead to the meeting with Barty.

“Just playing Ash, I know her for long time. I remember when she was 15, winning juniors here. I played, as well. I know her for so long. I actually like to watch her, because she gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration to just work hard,” the Czech said.

“We can see that she deserves to be here and she deserves to be No. 1, because she is just very talented and she works hard. You know, she just deserves everything that she’s achieving.

The last Brit left is singles is none other than Emma Raducanu. The 18-year-old little-known qualifier was the surprise of the women’s draw playing in just her second career event and reaching the fourth round without losing a set. To the delight of the crowd, Raducanu held on to beat Romanian veteran Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 7-5 on Court 1.

“My emotions were, I just couldn’t put them into words really,” Raducanu said. “I was so overwhelmed. The last point, I kind of just dropped my racquet and fell to the floor. It was just also instinctive and in the moment. I had no idea what just happened. Right now I’m on such a buzz and such a high.”

Raducanu will have a chance on Monday against first-time Wimbledon fourth rounder Alja Tomljanovic. The girlfriend of Matteo Berrettini got past 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist Jelena Ostapenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The two got into it on court late in the match. Ostapenko was down 4-0 in the final set when she stopped play to request a trainer for a ab injury. Tomljanovic, who was preparing to serve, voiced her dissaproval to the chair saying Ostapenko was “lying” about the injury. At the end of the match, the had more words.

Paula Badosa continued her momentum from the clay reaching the fourth round after a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over Magda Linette. Up next will be Karolina Muchova who eliminated French finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3.

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