Former world No.1 Simona Halep was too big a bite for 15-year-old qualifier Cori Gauff, ending the 15-year-old’s fairytale Wimbledon run in the fourth round 6-3 6-3.
Playing on No.1 Court that propelled her into tennis stardom, the world No.313 Gauff never endangered Halep, even though she stayed competitive when facing deficits and saved two match points to prolong the encounter by one game.
The match opened by an exchange of breaks, initiated by Halep, and even though the Romanian made three double faults in the fourth game, she did hold serve for 2-2, and that was about the last time that Halep was endangered in the 42-minute first set, if we exclude a couple of good winners by Gauff on break points in the fifth game, which the teenager eventually surrendered.
The second set also featured a break on each side early on, but Halep quickly recorded a crucial one to go 4-2 up and even though Gauff saved two break/match points at 2-5, one with a nice half-volley, the other one when Halep’s shot landed just a millimeter out, the much more experienced player won the match in her service game, on the third match point.
It was expected that Halep would be too big an obstacle for Gauff, but even when the youngster trailed 2-5 in the second set, there was some hope that her Cinderella story would continue, as in her third-round match against Polona Hercog she completely recovered from the same deficit.