Wimbledon’s first big upset came in the women’s bracket Monday as seventh-seeded American Coco Gauff lost to a fellow compatriot, Sofia Kenin.
Kenin won the match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, to move on in the tournament while Gauff was stunned with the early exit.
“I’m super happy,” said Kenin, via Tennis.com, after the match. “I knew I needed to play my best in order to win.”
While Kenin may only be ranked No. 128 in the world to Gauff’s No. 7, she is no stranger to winning at a major tournament.
Kenin was the 2020 Australian Open singles champion – the most recent American to win the coveted title. She also happened to defeat Gauff in the round of 16 in that very tournament, and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world.
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Despite a solid run as an up-and-coming tennis star, injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic were both factors in Kenin falling as low as No. 416 in the world.
In fact, just to play in Wimbledon this year, she was forced to go through qualifiers, which is why Gauff had nothing but respect for Kenin when interviewed after her loss.
“She had nothing to lose today,” Gauff said, per Tennis.com. “Obviously she won a Grand Slam, but she’s in a tough spot in her career. So I knew coming in she would play with a lot of motivation. It was all about how I would play today and how I would take care of my end of the court. I did in certain moments, but obviously not enough.”
Gauff may be out of singles, but she is still vying for a doubles title alongside Jessica Pegula. They are ranked the second-best doubles team at the tournament.
As for Kenin, she will be preparing for her second-round bout with Xinyu Wang, a 21-year-old from China. Their match is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. ET on July 5.