Venus Williams had Coco Gauff, her first-round opponent in the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, edged in just about every category — age, experience, Grand Slam success.
The 15-year-old Gauff, however, proved Monday that none of those are a match for talent, upsetting the 39-year-old Williams, a four-time Olympic gold medalist with five Wimbledon titles on her resume, to advance to the second round at the All England Club.
After defeating Venus 6-4, 6-4, Gauff is now the youngest qualifier to ever win a match at Wimbledon. Her victory comes nearly two decades after Williams, the oldest player in the women’s singles draw, captured her first title in the London major. She’s also the youngest player to win in the first round of women’s singles since 1991, per Wimbledon.
Champion of the Junior French Open at Roland Garros in 2018, Gauff just recently became the youngest tennis player to qualify for Wimbledon in the Open era and entered her match with Williams as the 12th youngest to ever compete in women’s singles at the tourney since 1968. She even admitted prior to Monday’s action that Williams and her younger sister, Serena, are “the reason why I play tennis.”
Gauff originally qualified for her match against Williams by defeating Belgium’s Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-1 on Thursday.