Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

20.21 1 Jul 2019


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Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has been knocked out of the tournament on day one by a 15-year old qualifier.

American Cori Gauff caused a shock on Court Number One with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

The 15-year-old ranked 313th in the world rankings is the youngest player to qualify for the tournament at SW19 since the Open era began over 50 years ago.

Speaking to the BBC after the match, Gauff said, "I don't know how to explain how I feel.

"I definitely had to tell myself to stay calm, I had to remind myself that the lines are the same lines, the courts are the same size and after every point, I told myself 'stay calm'."

"Venus told me congratulations and keep going, she said good luck and I told her thanks for everything she did.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her - I told her she was so inspiring and I've always wanted to tell her that but I've never had the guts to before.

"My parents will be super happy, my dad was jumping up every time I won a point. I'm so happy they spent all their time on me and my brothers and making sure we're successful.

"I never thought this would happen. I'm literally living my dream right now.

"I'm really happy Wimbledon gave me the chance to play, I never thought I would get this far."

She will now face Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round after she beat Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets earlier today.

In the run-up to the tournament, Gauff knocked out the top seed in qualifying. After that victory, she said, "My coach told me to enjoy it he was just saying, you're 15, I'm playing Wimbledon - what else could you ask for?"

"Serena Williams has always been my idol and Venus. They're the reason I wanted to pick up a tennis racket."


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