After already dispatching Venus Williams and Magdalena Rybarikova, a 2017 semifinalist, Coco Gauff pulled off another remarkable upset Friday at Wimbledon. The 15-year-old American defeated Polona Hercog of Slovenia, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5, to reach the fourth round of the tournament, ESPN reports. Gauff, the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon in the modern era, displayed the nerves of a mature player in the match. She battled back to take two match points for Hercog, 28, winning a 32-stroke point to force a third set. Thousands of spectators jumped to their feet when the point ended, including her mother, and Gauff pounded her chest and shouted, "Let's go! Come on!" Afterward, she said, "I always knew that I could come back, no matter what the score is." Next, No. 7-seeded Simona Halep on Monday.
The fact that the match between Gauff, who's ranked 313th, and Hercog, who also is unseeded in the tournament, was put on Centre Court shows how big a story the 15-year-old's run is. Her comeback victory Friday was front-page news in British newspapers, per the Washington Post, and she's charmed the crowds with her graceful handling of the attention. It's happened quickly. A week ago, she said, "I didn't know I was coming here," per USA Today. After her victory over Williams, John McEnroe said her talent is real. "If she’s not No. 1 in world by 20," he said, per the Post, "I will be absolutely shocked." (Read more Wimbledon stories.)