US teen Cori Gauff battles back to reach Wimbledon last 16

Fifteen-year-old Cori Gauff is being hailed “the comeback kid” after she saved two match points before going on to beat Polona Hercog and book her place in the fourth round of Wimbledon.

She battled back from losing the first set and being 5-2 down in the second to win in three, 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 7-5, on Centre Court.

Gauff, known as Coco, is the youngest female player to reach the second week of the tournament since a 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati made it to the semi-finals in 1991.

Cori Gauff celebrates beating Polona Hercog on day five of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Image: The teenager is the youngest female player to reach the fourth round since Jennifer Capriati in 1991

She is the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon in the professional era, winning three matches last week against higher-ranked women in the preliminary rounds before knocking out five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round proper.

On Centre Court, the American teenager, who is ranked 313 in the world, was a set down and trailed 5-2 in the second against the 28-year-old Slovenian, who is ranked 60.

With Gauff serving at 30-40, Hercog was a point from victory. But the teenager conjured up a backhand slice winner that dropped right on the line.

Then at 5-3, Hercog had her second match point but she double-faulted and the second set eventually went to a tie-break.

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Gauff, who entered as a wildcard, had pounded her chest and shouted “let’s go, come on!” to celebrate a 32-stroke point in the second set tie-break that forced a third set.

Parents of US player Cori Gauff, father Corey (L) and mother Candi (R), celebrate after Cori Gauff beat Slovenia's Polona Hercog during their women's singles third round match on the fifth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Cori Gauff’s father Corey and mother Candi celebrate the win

Up in the stands, her mother, Candi Gauff, stood up and pumped her fist, yelling “yes!” as thousands of spectators jumped out of their seats to applaud the teenager as she extended her dream to reach the last 16.

“Right now, I’m just super-relieved that it’s over,” said Gauff.

“I always knew that I could come back, no matter what the score is.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Geri Horner attends day five of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Image: Geri Horner celebrates from the royal box
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Actress, Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the Royal Box during Day five of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Image: Actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the royal box

On Wednesday, she beat 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova, 30, in a straight-set victory 6-3 6-3 in round two.

Ranked 313th, the Floridian sensation is set to face former number one Simona Halep in the fourth round on Monday.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Cori Gauff of the United States celebrates her victory over Polona Hercog of Slovinia during Day 5 of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
Image: Cori Gauff is taking Wimbledon by storm

Source: SKY NEWS

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