Skip to main content


Kenin surprises Gauff in highlight-filled, all-U.S. match at Wimbledon

Sofia Kenin and Coco Gauff Sofia Kenin and Coco Gauff - The Canadian Press

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Sofia Kenin surprised Coco Gauff at a Grand Slam tournament again by beating her 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the first round of Wimbledon in a back-and-forth matchup Monday between two American women who both have reached No. 4 in the rankings and been to a major final.

One key difference: Kenin was the 2020 Australian Open champion, beating Gauff along the way to that trophy; Gauff was the runner-up at the 2022 French Open.

And while Gauff was seeded No. 7 at the All England Club, Kenin has tumbled so far down after three consecutive first-round exits at major tournaments that she is ranked 128th this week and needed to make her way through qualifying rounds just to get into Wimbledon's main draw.

“I’m just super," Kenin began, before cutting herself off, during her on-court interview. Then she resumed: “Oh, my God. I can't even, like, talk. I'm super happy. Coco played a tough match. I knew I needed to play my best in order to win.”

Gauff played a more aggressive style on Monday. Kenin was steadier, with far fewer winners but also far fewer unforced errors.

That reflected Kenin's mindset, which she described as: “Don't get anxious or super excited.”

There were highlights galore, including one sequence each in which one player fell down to the grass, got herself back up and ended up taking the point.

It was at Wimbledon in 2019 that Gauff made her breakthrough and began to establish herself as a household name at age 15.

She became the youngest player to qualify at the All England Club, then beat seven-time major champion Venus Williams in the first round en route to getting all the way to the fourth round before losing to eventual title winner Simona Halep.

Still just 19, Gauff is considered one of the rising stars of women's tennis. That label was applied to Kenin just three years ago, when she came out on top at Melbourne Park while all of 21 after defeating Gauff in the fourth round there.


AP tennis: and