London: Wonder girl Coco Gauff continued her magical Wimbledon debut on Wednesday when she became the youngest player since 1991 to reach the third round. Meanwhile, men’s defending champion Novak Djokovic made the last 32 for the 11th successive year with the four-time title holder and world number one hitting 13 aces and 37 winners as he eased past Denis Kudla of the US, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Gauff, just 15 and who had to come through qualifying, had already stunned five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round. She showed that was no fluke as the world number 313 defeated 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3 under the new Court One roof. The American schoolgirl is the youngest player in the last 32 since Jennifer Capriati, also 15, went all the way to the semi-finals 28 years ago. “I played well especially on the pressure points,” said Gauff. “I’m just still shocked that I’m even here. I think I can beat anyone. If I don’t think I can win the match then I won’t even step on the court.” Coached by her father Corey, Gauff was back out practicing on Thursday and seldom has a tennis player ranked 313 in the world had so much attention. For she was also getting used to her new found fame by taking time to sign autographs and pose for countless selfies. Djokovic on his win said, “I’m pleased with my game overall. There were some moments in the match where maybe I could have done better,” said the defending champion. Djokovic goes on to face Hubert Hurkacz for a place in the last 16 having defeated the Pole in straight sets in the first round at Roland Garros in May. Victory in that match could see him face 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, the youngest man in the draw. Last year’s beaten finalist Kevin Anderson, the South African fourth seed, also progressed with a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4 win over Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. Agence France-Presse
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