Fifteen-year-old sensation Coco Gauff’s magical Wimbledon journey continued on Friday when the American youngster saved two match points to reach the last 16. Gauff, ranked 313 and who came through qualifying, battled back from 2-5 down in the second set and held her nerve when Slovenian opponent Polona Hercog clawed her way to 4-4 from 1-4 in the decider.
Her reward is a fourth-round clash on ‘Manic Monday’ against former world number one and ex-French Open champion Simona Halep. “I’m just super relieved that it’s over, it was a long match,” said Gauff. “She was playing unbelievable. It was my first match on Centre Court, people say Court One is my court, maybe Centre can be too now. She added of her second set recovery: “I knew I could come back so I just kept going for my shots.”
Gauff’s dramatic victory on an enthralled Centre Court overshadowed Novak Djokovic’s passage to the last 16 for the 12th time. The four-time champion is one of just four top 10 seeds left in the tournament along with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori.Defending champion and world number one Djokovic defeated Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4. He will next face Ugo Humbert of France, world number 66.
“He was fighting. He was playing well, serving well and hitting clean and accurate shots,” said Djokovic who is now level with Boris Becker in third place on the all-time list with 12 last-16 places. Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors lead the way with 16 apiece.
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