Cory Gauff’s Wimbledon Fairytale Has Become Even More Extraordinary - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Cory Gauff’s Wimbledon Fairytale Has Become Even More Extraordinary

Once again the teenager has got everybody talking after staging an audacious comeback on the biggest court of the grass-court major.

Published

on

photo by Roberto Dell'Olivo

WIMBLEDON: Few expected that Cory Gauff could exceed the performance of what she produced during the first round of the Wimbledon Championships against Venus Williams. Then her third round match took place on Friday.

 

Despite being born in 2004, the American illustrated why she is tipped to become the new star of women’s tennis at the age of 15. Taking on Polona Hercog, who was contesting her 36th Grand Slam main draw, Gauff produced a display that exceeded her age. Both mentally and physically.

A three-set thriller saw the qualifier fight back from the brink of defeat. Down 3-6, 2-5, she staged an audacious comeback to prevail after two hours and 45 minutes of play. Saving a duo of match points in the second set, Gauff roared to a 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5, win on Centre Court. Electrifying the British crowd who have seemingly adopted her as one of their own.

“I was just thinking I need to go for my shots. I can’t play pushing. Really, to be honest, I kind of just went out there and just hoped the ball went in the court.” Gauff reflected during her press conference.

To put into perspective Gauff’s achievement of reaching the fourth round at The All England Club. The last person who was younger than her to reach the last 16 of the tournament was Jenifer Capriati back in 1991.

https://twitter.com/will_jeanes/status/1147223912452972544

The most impressive thing about the latest performance was Gauff’s belief that she had what it took to turn her fortunes around. When asked if her confidence has increased during Wimbledon, she replied ‘my confidence has been the same the whole tournament.’ Showing little signs of being star struck by her rapid rise on the tour.

“When I was walking on the court, I kind of wasn’t nervous, but I was just like, Wow, I’m really on Centre Court. One of the most sacred courts in the world.” She said.
“When I was down 5-2, I was just like, I can fight back. Just need to hold serve, break, then we’ll see what happens from there.:

It is easy to forget how young Gauff actually is until you speak with her. A typical teenager with a bubbly personality, she started her Friday duty with the press by saying ‘please stream Erys by Jaden Smith.’ A huge fan of Smith, she later talked about being banned from buying hoodies for two months by her parents because she had too many, and the fact she is too young to buy a car with her Wimbledon prize money. Which currently tallies to more than $200,000.

There is a fear that it could be too much too young. Something that has previously happened to other rising stars of the past. Hence the use of the WTA Age Eligibility Rule, which limits Gauff to how many tournaments she can plan in. Something Roger Federer believes need changing in the future.

“I feel like you kind of have to experience the down moments to be able to experience the high. But I don’t think this is just a one-time thing. I won three matches now, so I think I kind of proved my own.”

The next challenger for the youngster will be seventh seed Simona Halep, who didn’t win her first main draw match on the WTA Tour until the age of 18. On paper, Gauff is the massive underdog, but few are ruling her out of causing another shock in the women’s draw.

“I watch her a lot obviously. I’ve never hit with her or anything or practiced with her. I don’t know how the ball would feel when I actually play, but I’m really familiar with how she plays just from watching her a lot.” She said.

Guaff has already shown she has what it takes to compete alongside the women’s elite. With a lot of loose and nothing to gain, it can be argued that Halep should be the more nervous of the two heading into their Monday clash.

This is one teenager who means serious business.

Focus

Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo

Published

on

The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.

 

The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

Continue Reading

Focus

Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia

Published

on

Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.

 

“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   

 

 

Continue Reading

Focus

[EXCLUSIVE] Brandon Nakashima: “I Love Federer, But My Game Resembles More Djokovic’s”

Nakashima speaks to UbiTennis about his liveliest memory of training with Nadal at Wimbledon. The duels he had with Lorenzo Musetti and Tseng Chun-Hsin, the high praise for Sebastian Korda and Hugo Gaston. Why he doesn’t like clubbing and what his new coach Pat Cash has been advising him to do.

Published

on

The latest instalment of UbiTennis’ video series sees Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink speak with Brandon Nakashima. An 18-year-old American tennis star born on August 3, 2001, who goes by the nickname B-Nak.

 

He is at No.220 in the ATP Rankings (with a career best at 218) and is second-best among those who were born in 2001, trailing only Jannik Sinner. His surname is of Japanese origin, but it was his Vietnamese maternal grandfather who initiated him to the game of tennis when he was three. He is 1.85 metres tall and weighs 78 kilograms. He was born in San Diego, and his father Wesley was also born in California – his parents are both pharmacists. He played for the University of Virginia, where he was the Freshman of the Year for the Atlantic Coast Conference, before moving on to the pros.

Since Delray Beach, in February, he’s been working with Pat Cash, immediately reaching the quarter finals and beating four Top 100 players. His best shot is his two-handed backhand, and his favourite player is Federer. A superb athlete, he is considered the best American prospect. He is self-described as shy, but he actually isn’t that much, once he gets going. He loves sushi, but also admits to having a sweet tooth. Given the status of some of his victims, it can be assumed that he’s already better than his ranking.

VIDEO SCHEDULE

Minute 00:00: Introduction and recap of his highest-profile wins.

03:40: His behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic: “I wear a mask whenever I’m outside. I’ve been trying to stay cautious as much as possible in public areas”. He also appreciates the chance of being able to train at some local private courts.

05:07: The special relationship with his grandfather: “My mom’s dad is from Vietnam. He first started to get me out on the court when I was about three and a half years old, just feeding me balls at a local park and from that time onward I started practicing more and more everyday”.

06:45: Bonding with his main coach, Pat Cash, during the pandemic.

07:38: Cash claims he noticed immediately Brandon’s “extraordinary racquet control” – does he think that this is his best quality too?

08:42: Their first meeting: “We had a couple of mutual friends; at the time I had just turned pro and I was looking for a good coach…”

11:53: His idols growing up: “I always liked to watch Federer play, but I think now my game is more similar to Djokovic’s”.

12:40: The experience of hitting with Nadal: “A couple of years ago I was playing the junior Wimbledon tournament…”

14:36: His thoughts on the best future prospects…

17:20: His transition as a pro aged only 17: “It was crucial on and off the court for me to go to college and to then play a full season at 17 [Editor’s Note: at the University of Virginia], it helped my game and made me mature as a person. I’d advise most players to go to college and get that experience…”

19:45: Recapping his best junior Slam results.

21:25: Developing his game with Pat Cash: “During these training blocks here in California, we definitely decided to work a lot on the transition and net game to add more variety into my game…”

23:55: What are his current plans? “It’s tough to plan tournaments right now since we don’t know when or if they’re even starting…”

25:35: How does he feel about the issue of playing behind closed doors? “It will be interesting, everybody is so used to people watching, so I think most players will find it maybe a little weird at the beginning…”

26:47: His off-court life: “I try to relax and have fun. I like playing other sports, on days off I play golf with friends or relax at home watching TV, just getting the mind away from tennis. I don’t like going to dance or clubs, it never was my type of feeling of going out; I like a more chill state with my friends.”

30:04: His knowledge of tennis history.

31:30: Where does Brandon see himself in 2022/23? “The goal is to keep improving my results and my rankings, and maybe…”

33:20: After the Big Three era, who is his pick to become the next world N.1?

36:10: Pat Cash’s most frequent tip: “I have to train to get ready for the Slams…”

Article written and translated by Tommaso Villa

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending