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Coco Gauff Advances to 3rd Round at Wimbledon
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By Associated Press
Published 3 weeks ago on
July 3, 2024

Coco Gauff of the United States plays a backhand return to Anca Todoni of Romania during their match on day three at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. (AP/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

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LONDON — Coco Gauff likes No. 1 Court at Wimbledon.

It’s where she beat Venus Williams back in 2019 when Gauff made her Wimbledon debut at age 15.

On Wednesday, Gauff beat qualifier Anca Todoni 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the third round at the All England Club.

“This is the court where I first started here at Wimbledon. Court 1 is always a special place for me to play on,” the 20-year-old Gauff said in her on-court interview.

The victory also allows Gauff, the No. 2 seed, to move another step away from last year’s first-round exit.

“Overall, I just learned about life a lot,” the U.S. Open champion said when asked about putting that three-set loss to Sofia Kenin behind her.

“I just realized that, yes, what I do I’m very passionate about, but it’s not ever that serious and sometimes the world can make you feel like there’s so much pressure, there’s so much expectation,” she said. “At the end of the (day), it’s a game. It’s sport.”

The 19-year-old Todoni is from Romania and was making her Grand Slam debut.

“I do think I could have played cleaner at some moments,” Gauff said.

Five years ago, Gauff beat Williams — a five-time Wimbledon champion — 6-4, 6-4 in the first round and eventually reached the last 16, all on her Grand Slam debut.

Defending Champion Carlos Alcaraz Also Advances

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz trailed 6-5 in the first set before coming back to beat Alexsander Vukic 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-2, setting up a third-round meeting with No. 29 Frances Tiafoe after the American eliminated Borna Coric 7-6 (5), 6-1, 6-3.

When told by the on-court interviewer that Tiafoe said he’s “coming after you,” the 21-year-old Spaniard replied with a smile: “I’m going for him.”

“We played a really good match in the U.S. Open,” the No. 3 seed said of their 2022 semifinal that Alcaraz won at Flushing Meadows.

In other results, No. 11 Danielle Collins completed her first-round match — a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Clara Tauson. It had been suspended Tuesday night at 4-4 in the second set.

No. 20 Beatriz Haddad Maia advanced to the third round by beating Magdalena Frech 7-5, 6-3.

On the men’s side, No. 16 Ugo Humbert eliminated Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6 (9), 6-1, 6-3.

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