Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2024
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Coco Gauff storms through Wimbledon match to set potential showdown with British underdog | Tennis | Sport

Coco Gauff stormed through her second-round match at Wimbledon to set up a potential meeting with a British underdog ranked 296 places below her.

The second seed needed just an hour and seven minutes to breeze past qualifier Anca Todoni 6-2 6-1 on Court 1 on Wednesday.

She could now face Brit qualifier Sonay Kartal, who is ranked at No. 298 in the world and earned her first tour-level victory in the opening round.

After getting off to a quick start in her opening match, Gauff picked up exactly where she left off against Todoni. The 20-year-old spent 65 minutes on court to defeat Caroline Dolehide on Monday and it looked as though she was in a hurry once again against the Romanian qualifier.

It wasn’t a standout performance from the American but it didn’t have to be to get the job done. Todoni, who has confessed that her game is modelled on Elena Rybakina’s, started with an ace. But things quickly went south and she was broken immediately on a double fault. The world No. 142 had a couple of break point chances of her own but she couldn’t take advantage of Gauff’s lapse.

She got on the board one more time thanks to a couple of big serves but the US Open champion flew through the opening set for the loss of just two games, firing down nine winners to Todoni’s four.

Gauff wasn’t messing around at the beginning of the second. She broke immediately and followed it up with a love-hold, putting herself ever closer to the third round. There was some confusion when Todoni thought a ball made contact with the roof in the third game but she shook it off to end the second seed’s run of games and get on the board in set two.

The world No. 2 still wasn’t too happy with her performance as she held to extend her lead to 3-1. But she didn’t drop another game, breaking the Todoni serve two more times to send the teenager packing and book her spot in the third round.

There is plenty of opportunity in Gauff’s half of the draw, as no woman remaining in the bottom section has ever been to the semi-final at Wimbledon. And the No. 2 seed is putting herself in a great position to take advantage of her path to the final.

“I’m happy with how I played, I do think I could’ve played cleaner in some moments but overall I’m happy to get through to the third round,” she said of her victory.

Gauff will now face either Sonay Kartal or Clara Burel in the third round. British No. 9 Kartal was snubbed for a main draw wildcard this year after her ranking dropped during injury struggles. But she came through qualifying to reach the main draw and stunned 29th seed Sorana Cirstea in the first round on Monday.

It was Kartal’s first victory at Grand Slam or professional tour level and her best win by ranking to date. If the 22-year-old gets past Burel, her high-profile showdown with Gauff would likely be given one of the prime show court slots come Friday.

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