15-year-old Cori Coco Gauff stuns idol Venus Williams in Wimbledon first round

US player Cori Coco Gauff celebrates beating US player Venus Williams during their women’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. (AFP)
Updated 01 July 2019

15-year-old Cori Coco Gauff stuns idol Venus Williams in Wimbledon first round

  • Teenage American was not even born when Williams had won her first two Wimbledon singles titles
  • Williams looked increasingly lost during the encounter

WIMBLEDON, London: Cori Gauff, at 15 the youngest ever qualifier for the Wimbledon singles, pulled off a major shock on Monday, beating one of her idols five-time champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in their first round clash.
The teenage American — who was not even born when Williams had won her first two Wimbledon singles titles — showed not an ounce of fear on Court One, making light of the 24 years age difference.
“I don’t really know how to feel,” said 313th-ranked Gauff, who sunk into her chair and cried in the aftermath of her victory.
“This was definitely the first time I ever cried after a match, winning!“
Gauff, who said she took up tennis due to the exploits of Venus and her younger sister Serena, was watched by her family and paid tribute to them.
“I don’t even know what my parents will be saying,” she said.
“I’m just so happy and blessed that they spent all their time on me and my brothers in making sure that we’re successful.
“I never thought this would happen. I’m literally living my dream right now. Not many people get to say that.”
Williams had looked increasingly lost during the encounter, although she did break back in the second set and saved several match points, but sank to her knees by her racquet bag before walking off without waiting for the youngster.
“She (Williams) just told me congratulations and to keep going and good luck,” said Gauff, who won thr French Open junior girls title last year.
“I told her thank-you for everything she did.
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.
“I was telling her that she was so inspiring. I always wanted to tell her that.”


Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

Updated 17 November 2019

Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

  • World Cup semifinalists ‘still have room for improvement as they chase first major title since 1966’

PRISTINA:  Gareth Southgate is set to bring Raheem Sterling back from his brief England exile in Sunday’s qualifier against Kosovo as he seeks to end the controversy over the Manchester City star’s row with Joe Gomez.

Sterling was dropped for Thursday’s 7-0 rout of Montenegro after clashing with England team-mate Gomez in the Three Lions’ training base canteen.

It is believed Sterling was unhappy with Gomez following an altercation with the Liverpool defender during City’s Premier League defeat at Anfield last weekend.

Although Sterling was left out of the Montenegro game as punishment for his attack on Gomez, Southgate has confirmed the winger will return for England’s final Group A fixture.

Sterling and Gomez, left with a scratch under his eye after the incident, are said to have patched up their relationship, but the center-back was jeered by England fans at Wembley when he came on as a substitute against Montenegro.

Both Southgate and Sterling expressed their support for Gomez and criticized the booing supporters, with the England manager reportedly comforting the shocked 22-year-old and his family after the match.

Now Southgate could include Gomez against Kosovo in a show of support for the Liverpool player.

With England already guaranteed to qualify for Euro 2020 in first place in their group, Southgate already planned to make changes, although he is keen to ensure England finish with a win as they eye a top-six seeding in next year’s tournament.

“We will make some changes, for sure, but the seeding in the group could be critical and we know it’s a big night for the Kosovans,” Southgate said.

“It’s a shame for them that they’re now out of this part of the qualification, although they’ve still got the playoffs in which I think they’ll be a huge threat in that format. “So, it will be a good test for us because it will still be a lively environment.

“The enthusiasm for the game is high and we want to finish the group with as many points as we can.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could return following a one-match ban, while Southgate has to decide whether to keep faith with Ben Chilwell ahead of Danny Rose at left-back.

Harry Kane may have scored a hat-trick against Montenegro but it was Leicester’s Chilwell who was named England’s man of the match following a fine display in which he provided three assists in the opening 24 minutes.

“Ben, I liked the hunger in his game, the enthusiasm to get forward,” Southgate said.

“The whole team pressed well but he also pressed well from that full-back position, got into overlaps, his quality of delivery was excellent.”

Although England have cruised through their qualifying group, Southgate believes the 2018 World Cup semifinalists still have room for improvement as they chase a first major title since 1966.

“There were a couple of chances we conceded that just shouldn’t happen, so that’s still part of our game that we’ve got to improve upon,” he said.

“If we are to be a team that are going to challenge seriously, although we’re young, we’ve got to manage games well.

“We’ve got to make sure that, although we’re such a fantastic attacking threat, the rest of the team is right as well. There are things we’ve got to be better at.”