By UPI |
Wimbledon: Simona Halep beats U.S. teen Cori Gauff for quarterfinal berth
July 8 (UPI) -- American Cori "Coco" Gauff, 15, watched her magical Wimbledon run end with a straight sets loss to Simona Halep Monday at the All-England Club in London.
Gauff was the youngest player to ever qualify for the Grand Slam. She upset Venus Williams in her first round match before beating Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round. Gauff then outlasted Polona Hercog in the third round to reach her round of 16 bout against Halep.
Gauff was dealing with stomach problems throughout the match and admitted she wasn't "100 percent."
"I'm really happy that I can play again in the quarterfinals," Halep told Wimbledon.com. "It is one of my favorite tournaments.
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"To play here is really special. I enjoyed the crowd and the energy today."
Halep -- a former world No. 1 -- dispatched of Gauff 6-3, 6-3, advancing to a quarterfinal matchup against Zhang Shuai. The winner of that match battles Elina Svitolina or Karlona Muchova for a spot in the semifinals.
Gauff showed fight despite the straight-sets loss. She came back from her first set and first service game loss to Halep by breaking her serve. But Halep overpowered her younger counterpart down the stretch to mirror her first set score of 6-3.
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"I learned a lot," Gauff told reporters. "I learned how to play in front of a big crowd. I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I learned a lot and I'm really thankful to be a part of this experience."
Gauff had 15 winners in the loss, compared to Halep's 17 winners. The 15-year-old from Delray Beach, Fla., had 29 unforced errors, compared to Halep's 14. Halep broke Gauff's serve five times in the victory.
"It was really surprising because you don't really expect this kind of support when you are playing in another country and not your home country," Gauff said. "But I really did feel like I was playing in New York or somewhere.
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"But I'm just really happy people believe in me."
Halep, 27, has one Grand Slam (2018 French Open) and has reached the Wimbledon semifinals once during her tennis tenure (2014).
"It's a big challenge and a good opportunity," Halep said of Shuai. "I'll try to give my best and fight until the end to win the match."
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