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Monday, July 1, 2019

Gauff Beats Venus as Seven Americans Advance to Wimbledon Second Round on Day One; Seeds Nakashima and Nava Fail to Make Third Round at ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton

The reigning women's champion at the US Open and Australian Open lost in the first round today at Wimbledon, as did two of the popular picks for next 25-and-under man to win a major. But even with the exits of No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka, No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev and No. 7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the name everyone's lips today was 15-year-old qualifier Coco Gauff, who beat 39-year-old Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 on Court 1.  Williams did not play her best, but given her vast experience and her opponent's lack of it, it seemed likely that Gauff would begin to get tight as the finish line approached and Williams would find a way to take advantage.

Williams did manage to get back on serve after trailing 4-2 in the final set and had points to go up 5-4, but Gauff broke, and had a changeover to contemplate serving out the biggest match of her brief pro career. She went up 40-15, but Williams stepped up her game to save those two match points and Gauff wasn't able to convert her third either. Williams then had a break point, but Gauff saved it, and on her fourth match point, Gauff ended the drama, keeping her composure until Williams forehand found the net, when the tears began. Gauff is the youngest woman to win a slam match since Anna Kournikova at the 1996 US Open. For more on Gauff's win, see this article from the Wimbledon website.

American women went 5-7 in the first round, with both seeded players winning. Madison Brengle upset French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, the No. 16 seed, 6-4, 6-4. US men went 2-2, with 2015 Wimbledon boys champion Reilly Opelka getting his first career win in the men's main draw.

Monday's first round singles results for Americans:

Maria Sakkari(GRE)[31] d. Bernarda Pera 7-6(4), 6-3
Petra Martic(CRO)[24] d. Jennifer Brady 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Danielle Collins d. Zarina Diyas(KAZ) 6-3, 7-5
Anastasija Sevastova(LAT)[12] d. Kristie Ahn[Q] 6-3, 6-4
Madison Brengle d. Marketa Vondrousova(CZE)[16] 6-4, 6-4
Heather Watson(GBR) d. Caty McNally[Q] 7-6(3), 6-2
Anett Kontaveit(EST)[20] d. Shelby Rogers 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU) d. Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-4
Madison Keys[17] d. Luksika Kumkhum(THA) 6-3, 6-2
Coco Gauff[Q] d. Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4
Sonya Kenin[27] d Astra Sharma(AUS) 6-4, 6-2

Denis Kudla d. Malek Jaziri(TUN) 6-4, 6-1, 6-3
David Goffin(BEL)[21] d. Bradley Klahn 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Reilly Opelka d. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe(GER) 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-1
Feliciano Lopez(ESP)[WC] d. Marcos Giron[Q] 6-4, 6-2, 6-4

Fourteen Americans will play their first round matches Tuesday.

Christina McHale[LL] v Harriet Dart(GBR)[WC]
Alison Riske v Donna Vekic(CRO)[22]
Serena Williams[11] v Giulia Gatto-Monticone(ITA)[Q]
Lauren Davis[LL] v Kateryna Kozlova(UKR)
Taylor Townsend v Arina Rodionova(AUS)[Q]
Sloane Stephens[9] v Timea Bacsinszky(SUI)
Amanda Anisimova[25] v Sorana Cirstea(ROU)

Sam Querrey v Dominic Thiem(AUT)[5]
Tennys Sandgren v Yasutaka Uchiyama(JPN)[Q]
Frances Tiafoe v Fabio Fognini(ITA)[12]
Steve Johnson v Albert Ramos-Vinolas(ESP)
Taylor Fritz v Tomas Berdych(CZE)
John Isner[9] v Casper Ruud(NOR)
Noah Rubin[Q] v Jay Clarke(GBR)[WC]

At the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, only two American boys have advanced to the third round: No. 4 seed Martin Damm and unseeded Cannon Kingsley. Kingsley defeated No. 8 seed Bu Yunchaokete of China 6-3, 6-3 and Damm beat Leandro Reidi of Switzerland 6-2, 6-1. Defending champion and No. 6 seed Brandon Nakashima lost to Anton Matusevich of Great Britain 6-4, 6-4 and No. 7 seed Emilio Nava was beaten by Wojchiech Marek of Poland 6-7(10), 7-5, 6-2.  

Five US girls are through to the round of 16: Robin Montgomery, Alexa Noel[8], Hurricane Tyra Black[5], Katrina Scott and Elli Mandlik. Montgomery, the only one of the five Americans in the top half, beat Weronika Baszak of Poland 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; Noel defeated Alexandra Vecic of Germany 6-1, 6-2; Black downed Guilia Morlet of France 6-2, 6-3; Scott beat Liubov Kostenko of Ukraine 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 and Mandlik beat Thasaporn Naklo of Thailand 6-2, 6-4. Black and Scott will meet for the second time in as many weeks tomorrow, with Black having beaten Scott 6-1, 6-2 in the Nottingham Grade 1 semifinals. Black has a 3-0 record against the 15-year-old.