MELBOURNE, Australia – Everyone had the same question when the Australian Open draw became known: what was the probability that Coco Gauff and Venus Williams would face each other again in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament?
"I was a bit shocked," said Gauff, "I'm sure everyone was a bit shocked."
15-year-old Gauff played 39-year-old Williams to make her first appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park, just like last year at Wimbledon. And just like at the All England Club, the youngest woman in the field prevailed against the oldest woman in the field. Gauff beat Williams 7: 6 (5) and 6: 3 on Monday.
"It was really difficult. She played really well, ”said Gauff. "I was really nervous."
It was the most anticipated match from day 1 at the first major tennis tournament of the decade and it didn't disappoint. The first sentence was particularly fascinating: Gauff prevailed repeatedly and Williams, who had already won four of her seven Grand Slam individual trophies when Gauff was born, rejected it.
It wasn't until her fourth set point that Gauff finally made it and she quickly took a 3-0 lead in the second and never let go of that edge.
Gauff has already demonstrated all sorts of great qualities on a tennis court, from her big, courageous serve to the ability to track down the shots of the opponents. Now you can add the essentials to the list.
The match took place at Margaret Court Arena, one of three stadiums in Melbourne with a retractable roof, and it was a good thing. Despite the concerns of some players who are participating in the tournament due to forest fires in parts of the country, the big problem on Monday was a severe storm that hit in the afternoon and interrupted playing on outdoor courts for hours.
Players who had the chance to play – and win – included Roger Federer, defending champion Naomi Osaka, 23-time champion Serena Williams, and Australian Open 2018 winner Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire after the Australian Open ,