Rising star Coco Gauff has what it takes to go all the way at Wimbledon this year, according to a former great of American tennis.
Two-time US Open champion Tracey Austin has backed the youngster to reach the later stages of the tournament in what will only be her second main draw appearance. Gauff made her Wimbledon debut back in 2019 when she stunned the draw by reaching the fourth round as a 15-year-old qualifier. She is the youngest player to have ever reached the main draw by coming through qualifying in the Open Era.
Since that breakthrough two years ago, the American has surged up the rankings to a career high of 23rd in the world and has already won two WTA titles. Gauff also recently reached the quarter-finals of the French Open before losing to Barbora Krejčíková who went on to win the title.
“She will go deep at Wimbledon. She will be a sensation again,” Austin said of Gauff’s Wimbledon chances.
“Two years on (from 2019) her forehand has improved, her second serve has improved and she is so much stronger. (She has a) wealth of experience and has now won titles. She is going to go back there as a seeded player and she is going to go deep.”
Continuing her praise of Gauff, Austin drew parallels between the youngster and another great of the game when it comes to the use of her second serve.
“Venus (Williams) had that same slice second serve and Venus has won Wimbledon five times because the grass accentuates the grass and helps you,” she said.
Gauff is back in action this week at the Eastbourne Open where she will be unseeded in the draw. It will be her first Tour event on the surface for almost two years after the 2020 grasscourt swing was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whilst there are high expectations for the youngster to impress, Gauff insists that she is not feeling any pressure ahead of Wimbledon.
“People might expect me to feel pressure going into it, but I don’t really feel any pressure going into it. I’m just going to have fun and enjoy it. I don’t really want to push myself to compare my result this year with last time,” she told reporters on Sunday.
“I want to do better than when I first went there but it was the start of everything. I’m thankful for that experience and it definitely helped me as a player and a person.
“I guess I haven’t actually had any flashbacks regarding Wimbledon yet, so maybe that will happen when I get on the grounds.”
So far this season the 17-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 29-10 prior to the start of Eastbourne with five of those victories being over top 20 players. She won her first clay title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma and reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open. Amid her success, the teenager says Wimbledon has a special place in her heart.
“Wimbledon is definitely the most prestigious out of the grand slams, they have all the rules about wearing the white and only certain people can play on the Centre Court unless you are playing a match there,” she said.
“I thought it was so cool maybe to think about playing an exclusive tournament and the fact that I got to do that so young was really cool.
“And, also play on the two biggest courts of the tournament, which many people have yet to play on, that is something I take pride in.”
In Eastbourne Gauff will play seventh seed Elise Mertens in the first round.
Why Ash Barty Isn’t Staying At The Olympic Village In Tokyo
The two-time Grand Slam champion has opted to stay at an alternate venue heading into the Games.
Ash Barty will prepare for her debut at the Olympic Games by staying at a base located outside of the athletes village as part of her ‘performance plan.’
The world No.1 heads into Tokyo as one of the favourites for gold following her triumph at Wimbledon where she defeated Karolina Pliskova in the final. She is one of six top 10 players set to play in the women’s singles tournament which will start on Saturday.
Leading up to the Games, the head of the Australian Olympic delegation has told reporters that Barty’s decision not to stay in the village will enhance her gold medal chances. In previous Games athletes have stayed outside of the villages but this year it is more challenging to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency and fans are banned from attending the event amid fears of the virus spreading if they do so.
“Ash is staying elsewhere,” chef de mission Ian Chesterman told the Australian Associated Press.
“We have a number of athletes staying outside the village. We allow that, it’s just what works best for them.
“Something I’ve always been very big on is driving performance takes a whole lot of flexible decisions, flexible options.
“In terms of her performance plan, it’s best served by her being able to control her environment and we respect that.”
The exact location of Barty’s base has not been disclosed but it is near to the village where she was said to have visited and had a cup of coffee on Tuesday morning.
“She is staying in an Australian environment where she can still easily access the village,” Chesterman stated.
The 25-year-old is bidding to become only the second Australian in history to win a medal in the women’s singles at the Olympics. The first was Alicia Molik who claimed a bronze medal back in 2004.
During a recent interview with The ITF, Barty said playing at the event is a dream come true for her as she describes representing her country as the ‘highest honour.’
“Being an Olympian has always been a dream of mine as a kid, I think representing your country is the highest honour,” Barty told the ITF.
“For an Aussie it’s the best thing you can do and I can’t wait to have an opportunity to wear the green and gold.
“You’re playing for something bigger than yourself. You’re playing to represent your nation. You’re playing to make people proud and that’s not just with results it’s with your attitude.”
Bianca Andreescu pulls out of Tokyo Olympics
The world number five has officially pulled out of the Olympics in Tokyo stating reasons due to the ongoing pandemic situation.
Bianca Andreescu will not be making the trip to Tokyo to play in the Olympics after withdrawing due to the current pandemic situation.
The former US Open champion issued a statement concerning what she describes as a ‘difficult decision.’ Andreescu is the latest top name to pull out of the Olympics. Last week Nick Kyrgios also said he wouldn’t be playing for similar reasons. Due to a a surge of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, the city has gone into a state of emergency which prompted organisers to ban spectators from attending Olympic events in the city. Athletes will be subjected to tough restrictions during their time at the event, as well as regular testing.
” I would like to inform you that I have made the very difficult decision to not play in the Tokyo Olympics later this month,” Andreescu wrote on Instagram. “I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl but with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart, this is the right decision to make for myself. I look forward to representing Canada in future Fed Cup ties, and competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris! “
The Canadian hasn’t played since losing in the first round of Wimbledon to Alize Cornet of France and most recently split with her coach Sylvain Brunneau after a four-year partnership.
Her 2021 season has been up and down starting in Australia where she lost in the second round before making the semifinals at the Phillips Island Trophy event. She then made the final at the Miami Open before taking a fall in the final against Ash Barty and was forced to retire due to injury.
Then the clay-court season came and Andreescu tested positive for Covid. She was forced to miss events in Madrid and Rome, so she headed to Strasbourg for some preparation before the French Open. The world No.5 won two matches in Strasbourg before pulling out due to an ab injury. She then lost in the first round of the French Open.
The Canadian moved on to the grass-court season heading to Berlin but again would get upset in the first round by Alize Cornet before winning one round in Eastbourne and losing to Anett Kontaveit.
The 2021 Wimbledon Leaderboard: Women’s Edition
UbiTennis takes a look at the numbers behind the women’s draw to discover which player stood out when it came to service speed, double faults produced, return winners and other areas.
On Saturday the women’s singles draw at Wimbledon concluded with Ash Barty defeating Karolina Pliskova in three sets to become the first Australian woman to win the title since 1980.
The triumph follows what has been a tournament which has seen its fair share of drama. Ranging from Serena Williams’ heartbreaking retirement due to injury to an on-court spat between Jelena Ostapenko and Ajla Tomljanović. For home fans, British wildcard Emma Raducanu stunned the draw by reaching the fourth round in what was only her second WTA event before having to pull out of the event due to breathing difficulties.
It has been an eventful fortnight at The All England Club but what players have excelled at the tournament and in what area? UbiTennis takes a closer look at the best performing players in this year’s draw based on statistical data produced by IBM.
Who produced the most aces?
1. Pliskova – 60
2. Barty – 53
3. Sabalenka – 52
4. Rybakina – 32
5. Gauff – 29
6. Jabeur – 25
=7. Muchova – 22
=7. Keys – 22
=7. Badosa – 22
The player with the most double faults
1. Pliskova – 35
2. Barty – 32
=3. Sabalenka – 26
=3. Badosa – 26
5. Samsonova – 20
=6. Siniakova – 18
=6. Ostapenko – 18
=6. Krejčíková – 18
=9. Raducanu– 17
=9. Kerber – 17
1. kerber def Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 (3 hrs 19)
2. Ahn def Watson 2-6, 7-6(3), 8-6 (3 hrs 3)
3. Golubic def Kudermetova 3-6, 6-1, 11-9 (2 hrs 45)
4. Liu def Doi 2-6, 6-3, 9-7 (2 hrs 42)
5. Brengle def McHale 3-6, 7-5, 10-8 (2 hrs 40)
6. V. Williams def Buzarnescu 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 (2 hrs 37)
7. Begu def Martic 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-3 (2 hrs 34)
8. Krejcikova def Sevastova 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-5 (2 hrs 34)
9. Martic def Gracheva 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3 (2 hrs 29)
10. Boulter def Lao 6-7(6) 6-3, 6-4 (2 hrs 28)
Note: women’s final between Barty and Pliskova was the joint 29th longest match of the tournament
1. Gauff 125 mph
2. Sabalenka 122 mph
3. Samsonova 121 mph
=4. Giorgi 119 mph
=4. Rybakina 119 mph
6. Mertens 117 mph
=7. Keys 116 mph
=7. Pliskova 116 mph
=9. Barty 115 mph
=9. Badosa 115 mph
Most hawk-eye challenges made
1. Jabeur – 20 (30% success rate)
=2. Sabalenka – 15 (46.7% success rate)
=2. Cirstea – 15 (20% success rate)
=4. Pliskova – 14 (35.7% success rate)
=4. Barty – 14 (35.7% success rate)
=4. Badosa – 14 (0% success rate)
=7. Tomljanovic – 11 (27.3%success rate)
=7. Ostapenko – 11 (27.3% success rate)
=7. Kerber – 11 (27.3% success rate)
10. Raducanu – 10 (20% success rate)
Most return winners
1. Sabalenka – 27
=2. Pliskova – 16
=2. Ostapenko – 16
=2. Jabeur – 16
=5. Samsonova – 13
=5. Keys – 13
=7. Rybakina – 10
=7. Azarenka – 10
9. Kudermetova – 9
10. Kerber – 9
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