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Gauff in fourth round again, but no surprise this time

Gauff in fourth round again, but no surprise this time
July 3, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) - Seventeen-year-old American Coco Gauff matched her dream Wimbledon debut as she again reached the fourth round with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Kaja Juvan on Saturday.

Gauff, the 23rd seed, stormed through the opening games with a barrage of power serves on Centre Court but was asked some awkward questions by 102nd-ranked Juvan.

As she often does, Gauff had all the answers as she reached the second week and a last-16 clash with Germany's former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

"It's a good feeling to be on this court and I'm super honoured that the tournament allows me to play on it. It's not often a 17-year-old gets to play here!" Gauff, who has become a darling of the Wimbledon crowds, said on court.

"I wasn't as nervous as in my second round match -- the fans always bring the energy on Centre Court."

When Gauff reached the fourth round as a 15-year-old qualifier in 2019, beating one of her idols Venus Williams en route, it was something of a sensation.

Two years later, despite her age and playing in only her seventh Grand Slam tournament, Gauff's progress is far less of a surprise and she is now a serious title contender.

She reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros last month and has played with supreme confidence and calmness to claim three straight-sets wins here so far.

Gauff raced into a 5-1 lead against Juvan in 18 minutes but briefly went off the boil as she lost the next two games with a few errors creeping in.

After winning the opening set she had to fend off break points at the start of the second before establishing a lead.

Slovenian Juvan fought tenaciously to try and throw Gauff off her stride, but it was a hopeless task against a player who already plays with the maturity of a seasoned pro.

Gauff went 40-0 ahead as she served at 5-3 and although Juvan saved a couple of match points she whacked a forehand long on the third one to hand Gauff victory.