Wimbledon: Coco crushed by Kerber but earns words of encouragement from former champ

By Sports Desk July 05, 2021

Coco Gauff can contend at Wimbledon in the future even if she fell well short of besting Angelique Kerber, the former champion said.

Gauff, still just 17, has gone from strength to strength since her main-draw major debut at the All England Club in 2019.

But after reaching the quarter-finals at the French Open this year, she could not follow suit on the grass in London – bowing out in the fourth round, just as she did two years ago.

The serving woes that have dogged Gauff previously contributed heavily to her elimination.

The American teenager landed just 56 per cent of her 62 first serves in and won the point from only 20 of those 35 successful efforts (57 per cent).

Kerber – the 2018 champion – was far less erratic and capitalised on four of five break point opportunities, saving four of six going the other way.

"Coco is such a great, talented young player," Kerber said after a comfortable 6-4 6-4 triumph in an hour and 16 minutes on Centre Court.

"She's for sure a newcomer with such a great future in front of her, so I'm really sure that she will have a great career and for sure she will play here so many times again and maybe one time she will get the title.

"I like how she's playing, how she's professional, and I think she has a great future in front of her."

Kerber has struggled for consistent form since winning the third of her grand slam singles titles at Wimbledon three years ago, but she always enjoys playing on grass.

Victory at the Bad Homburg Open heading into this tournament was her first since celebrating at the All England Club.

It was Kerber's seventh WTA Tour final on grass, with only four players – Serena Williams (12) and Venus Williams (nine) involved in more since the turn of the century.

"I really enjoy my time here," Kerber added. "It's so great to play in front of you guys again – that gives me the energy to play my best tennis.

"I'm really looking forward to playing my next match because this is such a magic place for me and I will try to do my best."

The in-form German is the last remaining former champion in the women's tournament and plays Karolina Muchova next.

"I'm not looking too much ahead," Kerber said. "I just try to stay in the moment and enjoy every single moment here."

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