Three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe says Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff is destined for the very top following her sensational victory over Venus Williams at the All England Club.
Gauff, who at 15 years and 122 days became the youngest player to qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since the Open era began in 1968, produced a sensational performance to knock out five-time champion Williams on day one.
In front of a packed Court One, the American starlet recorded a 6-4 6-4 victory to set up a second-round clash against Magdalena Rybarikova, who ousted 10th seed Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets.
Gauff is 2.50 to win the match and Rybarikova can be backed at 1.53. After watching the huge shock, McEnroe believes Gauff has the right elements to reach the very top level of the game and become the best in the world.
He told BBC’s Today at Wimbledon: “Gauff’s not only physically mature, but also mentally. I look at the way she plays. If she’s not number one in world by 20 I will be absolutely shocked.”
It was an opening day of shocks in the women’s draw at SW19 as two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was one of five seeds to fall at the first hurdle. The Japanese star lost in straight sets to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, who will take on 26-year-old Swiss Viktorija Golubic for a place in the third round.
Elsewhere, 16th seed Marketa Vondrousova, 23rd Caroline Garcia and 29th seed Daria Kasatkina were all knocked out. However, it was good news for Britain’s Heather Watson as she advanced into round two with a 7-6 6-2 victory over American Caty McNally.