Simona Halep ends Coco Gauff's Wimbledon dream with dominant straight sets victory




  • In Sports
  • 2019-07-08 14:58:57Z
  • By The Telegraph
 

Cori Gauff's fairytale Wimbledon run came to an end at the hands of seventh seed Simona Halep.

The 15-year-old has been the break-out star of the Championships, charming and thrilling SW19 with sensational wins over her idol Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog.

But Romanian counter-puncher Halep, last year's French Open champion, proved too strong for Gauff on Court One, winning 6-3 6-3.

The result should come as no surprise, as 12 months ago Halep was the world number one while Gauff was losing in the quarter-finals of the juniors tournament.

Yet Gauff, known as 'Coco', went toe-to-toe with Halep, again showing no signs of being daunted in such illustrious company.

There were nerves, understandably, and Gauff's serve came under immediate scrutiny with Halep securing a break in the first game.

Gauff broke straight back, then held, and suddenly Halep had the jitters with a double fault, although she too held serve for 2-2.

Break point down, Gauff casually volleyed a winner with all the poise of the seasoned grand-slam winner she was facing.

However, Halep's experience told as she secured another break on her way to wrapping up the first set.

The signs were ominous when Halep went 2-0 up in the second, but yet again Gauff hit back, before asking for a doctor courtside.

If the youngster was feeling unwell she was not showing it, coming from 0-30 to hold for 2-2.

Halep has been there and done it, though, and once again the 27-year-old turned the screw to move 5-2 up.

Although Gauff saved a couple of match points on her serve - one with another nonchalant volley - Halep eventually ensured the American's Wimbledon adventure came to an end, for this year at least.

3:49PM

Simona Halep wins! Halep 6-3 6-3 Gauff

And that's that for Coco Gauff at Wimbledon. She did incredibly to make it this far, but this is only the beginning of the 15-year-old's story. Today is about Halep, who played brilliantly under huge pressure, with the whole crowd willing Gauff on.

The match ends with Gauff striking long and a half-hearted challenge - she knew it was out - for a routine hold of serve. Halep, the former world No 1, marches on, and has a first Wimbledon title in her sights.

3:46PM

*Halep 6-3 5-3 Gauff (*next to serve)

Two more unforced errors and Simona Halep is just a point away from the last eight... Gauff saves the first match point with a beautifully deft chip and she... saves the second too! By the finest of margins! Halep return's Gauff's powerful forehand a hair's width wide of the mark, before Gauff continues the fightback, taking the game and keeping her dream alive.

3:42PM

Halep 6-3 5-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

We're just one game away from the end of an incredible story. Halep fires down an emphatic ace to cap a dominant game, and is striding towards the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Remember, though, Gauff was in similarly dire straits last time out against Hercog, and she fought back from the brink to win. Halep is a different proposition, but you never know...

3:39PM

*Halep 6-3 4-2 Gauff (*next to serve)

Halep serves well to take a 15-0 lead before another unforced error sees her needlessly strike a forehand long with the whole court to aim at. She follows up by repeating the mistake, but this time burns a challenge too, when the shot was clearly long.

Gauff's spirit seems to be crumbling a little, she finds the net with another forehand before one more error gives Halep the game.

3:36PM

Halep 6-3 3-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Halep holds to 30 after Gauff threatened to fight back to deuce, a powerful serve proving too much for the 15-year-old to respond.

3:33PM

*Halep 6-3 2-2 Gauff (*next to serve)

Gauff is back out to serve but it's quickly 0-30 as first a winner from Halep and then an error off her own racket put her behind.

That's better. She runs in to the net to volley into the open court. A big serve brings her back to 30-30. And that is a well constructed point, taking her opponent from one side of the court to the other and then showing soft hands at the net to finish it off. 40-30.

Another hold of her nerves as Halep goes long.

3:29PM

Halep 6-3 2-1 Gauff* (*next to serve)

The doctor is out too. It looks like a stomach issue as the doctor hands her some medication to take. Her parents look on with concern.

3:27PM

Halep 6-3 2-1 Gauff* (*next to serve)

The trainer is waiting courtside as Halep serves. Gauff is somehow hanging in here though, forcing Halep into errors and suddenly it's three break points.

She sends the first wide of the tramlines, the next is out too as she looks to the heavens.

That will help though. Halep sends down a slow second serve, Gauff returns and then Halep sends wide.

Here comes the trainer...

3:24PM

*Halep 6-3 2-0 Gauff (*next to serve)

She's still battling away though, trading baseline strokes with Halep before her return dinks into the net. Another effort is dragged wide for 0-30.

That's a gift for her though. Gauff tries to cut the rally short by playing a sliced dropshot but Halep runs in and then puts too much on it, sending her shot wide. Another error from Halep into the net.

A tired looking shot from Gauff, her feet stuck in the ground like concrete and it's break point. But she regroups, rushing in mid court to dispatch a winner for deuce.

But a double fault brings up a second break point and she can't stave off this one.

3:20PM

Halep 6-3 1-0 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Has Gauff got anything left in the energy reserves? The zip just seems to have evaporated slightly from her.

It's an easy hold to love for Halep as the error count creeps up for the American teenager.

Gauff appears to have called for the trainer, we'll see on the next changeover.

3:16PM

Stats, stats, stats

3:16PM

Halep wins the first set 6-3

Signs of frustration from Gauff has she nets with back-to-back shots for 0-30. The crowd tries to rally her.

Too good from Halep. She digs out a wide serve from Gauff before sending a backhand winner up the line. Three break points.

It looks long from Gauff but Hawkeye comes to her rescue. Replay the point. And saved, with a 114mph serve out wide!

But Gauff is unable to hold off Halep again who plays a great passing shot across court. That's the first set in the bag.

3:12PM

Halep 5-3 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Double fault for Halep first up, that's five for the match so far. Better from the former world number one, though, as she has Gauff pinned on the baseline in super defence mode, leading to 15-15.

This is high quality stuff from both players. Gauff has her opponent on the run and Halep is only able to send it wide. Halep then responds with a winner.

When the first serve is working for Halep, it's getting her ahead. She takes the game when Gauff dumps into the net. Gauff to serve to stay in the set.

3:06PM

*Halep 4-3 Gauff (*next to serve)

One of the points of the match! After a lengthy baseline rally, it's soft hands from Gauff at the net to close out the point after both move up the court.

It could be tricky at 30-30 but a powerful serve out wide gets Halep out of the court and Gauff closes in at the net to put the point away. An unforced error brings up deuce.

She recovers though for an important hold.

3:01PM

Halep 4-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

It's not just me loving this either, the crowd are firmly on Gauff's side. A Halep mistake is followed by great net work by the American who smashes and then volleys her way to 30-0.

Hmmm, a couple of lose points brings it back to 30-30 though. We're all human after all.

She's long on her forehand but a Halep double fault make it deuce.

Halep digs deep, bringing up advantage before stretching for the forehand on the baseline to send over a winner.

2:57PM

Halep 3-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Having watched the Williams match, this is already much more entertaining.

2:56PM

*Halep 3-2 Gauff (*next to serve)

Halep is showing her experience here, continually working her young opponent around the court in the hope she will tire eventually. A precise forehand up the line takes it to 0-30. Gauff is unmoved, with her own baseline winner and a determined yelp of 'c'mon'. Halep error means it is 30-30.

And the legs are going for Gauff again across court but she can't quite make it out on the left. Break point.

Wow! What a way to save it a through-the-eye-of-the-needle backhand winner up the line for deuce.

Halep wins a long rally for a secondbreak point but a cute volley from Gauff brings it back to deuce. Gauff goes wide with her forehand. Third break point.

Gauff lines up a cross court back hand but it's into the net. Halep breaks.

2:48PM

Halep 2-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

I know she's young, but the constant energy from Gauff is mindboggling. She goes toe to toe with Halep on the baseline, running this way and that before Halep finally puts one away.

Halep needs to get a grip of her serve though. Back to back double faults brings up two break points at 15-40.

First one saved after running Gauff ragged and pretty much out of the court, to leave a simple winner. Halep then forces her opponent into a number of errors to hold. But it was far from comfortable.

2:43PM

*Halep 1-2 Gauff (*next to serve)

Such confidence from Gauff. She has her opponent on her heels and 30-0 down in no time.

A hefty first serve takes it to 40-0 but she is unable to convert initially, with a limp return into the net.

Gauff's second serve still has too much on it for Halep as she fires the return long. The 15-year-old leads against the seventh seed.

2:40PM

Halep 1-1 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Gauff is not letting that early mistake get to her, going head to head on the groundstrokes with Halep.

She brings up an immediate break point as Halep nets. And she gets it!

That's impressive. They trade off from the baseline and Halep is the first to blink, with her return into the net.

2:37PM

*Halep 1-0 Gauff (*next to serve)

It's been such a whirlwind week for Coco Gauff. But a wake up call for her as Halep breaks the American in the first game.

She elects to leave the ball at 30-40, believing it was going long but it's not. And Halep has the early break.

2:34PM

Gauff time

All go on Court 1. No sooner has the Williams show left the court but it's time for the Gauff fairytale. Can it continue against former world number one Simona Halep? Let's find out

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