Coco Gauff was probably not expecting her first-round draw in her first Australian Open to be a carbon copy of her Wimbledon campaign of 2019.
Williams and Gauff met again at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne and history repeated itself as once again the youngster was able to beat Williams in two sets 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Gauff faced Venus Williams for the first time since the 15-year-old shocked the tennis world by beating the tennis icon in July, 6-4 6-4.
Williams was playing in her 85th main draw for a Grand Slam and set the record for the number of appearances in the professional era.
Following her win, Gauff expressed her surprise at being drawn against the former World Number One in the first round: “I was a bit shocked. I’m sure everyone was a bit shocked.”
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“My mission is to be the greatest. That's my goal, to win as many Grand Slams as possible.”
"But for today, my mission was to win. I didn't want to let the nerves come to me. I know I had a couple set points, and she played well. I knew I had to take it from her. She wasn't going to give it to me. That was really the mission.
"I think today has been the best match so far I played this year. I was a lot more focused.”
Her opponent agreed with the youngster’s sentiment, saying the “sky is the limit” for the rising star of the sport. Venus was playing her first competitive match since October after struggling with a hip injury and being unable to play in any practice tournaments in Australia.
The young player struggled to take the lead in the first set as Williams - who had already won four of her seven Grand Slam titles before Gauff was born - ensured the match would be a battle, not a breeze.
The second set proved an easier task for Gauff who overcame early nerves to secure a spot in the second round of the tournament and begin the decade positively.
Williams was clearly impressed by the 15-year-old’s performance and following her loss said: “I think honestly she played really well, consistently, both matches.
"She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age. I think the sky's the limit for her.”News Now - Sport News