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Australian Open 2020: Cori 'Coco' Gauff beats Venus Williams again to reach the second round

Chris Graham
Coco Gauff of the US reacts after a point against Venus Williams of the US during their women's singles match on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne  - AFP


Williams 6-7 3-6 Gauff

Now, can Gauff hold her nerve to see out this match? She didn't manage it in the first set. She gets off to a good start, Williams unable to return. 

The Williams whips a forehand just wide. 30-0. An ace makes it 40-0 and Gauff is on the brink of victory. 

A backhand is called out - but it's actually in! Still she has three match points - and she takes it by coming to the net and dropping the ball over into an empty net. 

Gauff has  done it again!



Williams 6-7 3-5 Gauff* (*next to serve)

After a fine rally, Gauff sends a backhand into the net. Then a wild forehand gives Williams a 30-0 lead. Again the youngster is loose with her forehand  and Williams completes an easy hold with an ace. 


*Williams 6-7 2-5 Gauff (*next to serve)

A lovely forehand from Williams flies past Gauff, but then Gauff responds well with a strong serve down the middle. 

An exceptional low shot from Gauff makes it 30-15 but then Williams claws it back to 30-30.  Now Williams just misses the next shot and Gauff has the chance to hold - which she takes, sending down a serve that Williams is unable to return. The 15-year-old is potentially one game away from repeating her Wimbledon feat last year. 


Williams 6-7 2-4 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Williams start off well and shows she's not finished yet. A fine ace makes it 30-0, but then a double fault makes it 30-15. 

Gauff does well to keep a rally going, and eventually wins an appeal after her backhand lands on the line. 30-15 still.  But Williams follows up well to batter the ball past Gauff in the next point, before powering an ace past the youngster.   


*Williams 6-7 1-4 Gauff (*next to serve)

Gauff also displays some good serving to a 30-0 lead. But then Williams whips a fine backhand into the corner to steady the ship. Williams then makes it 30-30 and it's her turn to put some pressure on the serve. 

Gauf comes to the net to dispatch a dinked shot from Williams but she fails to take the game with a loose forehand. Deuce. 

Williams hands the advantage to Gauff with a long forehand. Oh but that's brilliant - Venus whips a lovely backhand past Gauff. Deuce again. 

This time Williams hits long - but she makes no mistake in the next point, angling a fine forehand wide of Gauff. 

Again Williams hits long - can Gauff seal the hold? Yes, she batters the ball past Williams.  


Williams 6-7 1-3 Gauff* (*next to serve)

This is better from Williams, who races to a 40-0 lead with some strong serving. She needs a quick hold - but Gauff delays it by forcing an error from Williams. 

But then Gauff hits long to hand Williams an easy hold. 

Cori Gauff of the U.S. celebrates during the match against Venus Williams Credit: Reuters



*Williams 6-7 0-3 Gauff (*next to serve)

Gauff is looking to cement that break and starts off well with a good serve. A fantastic forehand into the corner makes it 30-0 - but a little drop shot just falls short. Gauff does well to stay in the next point - and then wins it with a strong forehand to the corner. 

Then she comes to the net and wraps up the game. A great game from the youngster, whose confidence must be growing all the time. 


Williams 6-7 0-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

A fine ace fizzes down past Gauff before another strong serve extends her lead. 30-0. Gauff returns the next serve but Williams dispatches a winner with ease. Gauff then hits a fine forehand into the corner to stay in the game before Williams hits the net. 40-30. 

Oooph. A whipped backhand from Gauff makes it deuce and now Williams is under pressure early in the second set. She then angles a forehand wide and Gauff has a break point. Can she take it? Yes! A double point from Williams sees a 40-0 lead overturned and a break. 


*Williams 6-7 0-1 Gauff (*next to serve)

Williams edges in front, only for another error to make it 15-15. Williams is looking frustrated as she slips to 30-15 before Gauff hits a lovely drop shot.

A loose backhand hands Gauff the game - and easy hold.  



Williams 6-7 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Oh dear. A double fault from Williams gives her the worst possible start. Then she hits long to make it 2-0 for Gauff. 

Venus again hits long before she wins a massive rally to make it 3-1. She needed that. A much better forehand makes it 3-2 and she's back in it. 

Ooph. A wild, wild backhand from Williams - her 25th error -  makes it 4-2 to Gauff, who takes control of the next point to edge further into the lead. 

Williams fires down a fine body serve then whips a lovely backhand into the corner. Much better from Williams. 

But Gauff hammers down an ace - only for it to be ruled out. At the second attempt Williams whips a fierce backhand into the baseline to make it 5-5.

Gauff takes control of the next point, coming to the net and battering a winner into the corner. On the Williams serve, the tries to lob Williams - only for the older American to hit it into the net. First set for Gauff!  


*Williams 6-6 Gauff (*next to serve)

Williams is on top now, firing a fierce forehand past Gauff. But then she overcooks the next one, making it 15-15. 

Williams puts pressure on Gauff again, making it 15-30 and the 15-year-old appeals a call to win her a moment to regroup. It works for the next point, with Gauff coming out on top of the next rally. 

At 30-30, she comes out with a strong serve to make it 40-30, before another fine serve takes the game to a tie break. 

Cori Gauff Credit: Reuters



Williams 6-5 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Williams starts off badly, opening with a double fault. Bu then a superb rally ends with Venus Williams stretching to place a backhand just beyond Gauff. 

A good serve makes it 30-15 and then a wild forehand from Gauff hands Williams the chance to hold - which she does, with a fine serve. Now, can Williams  continue the momentum and wrap up the first set?


*Williams 5-5 Gauff (*next to serve)

Can Gauff handle the pressure? She starts well, a fine serve making it 15-0. A poor Williams return makes it 30-0 but Gauff can't quite reach a Williams forehand - 30-15. The youngster then smacks a backhand into the net and again, Venus has put Gauff under a little pressure. 30-30. 

A cute dink from Gauff tempts Williams to return in kind - but Williams can only hit the net. Gauff can't wrap up the set though as she hits long. 

At deuce, she hits a wild backhand, giving Williams a rare break point. Can she take it? She can! A double fault hands Williams the game - and now we're level. 


Williams 4-5 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Williams is struggling with this service game. Poor serves sees her slip behind to 0-30. Gauff can't return the next one but then Williams makes another error to give Gauff two break points. Williams saves the first after a terrific rally, but Gauff has one more set point. She can't return the Williams serve, giving Venus a chance to make amends at deuce. 

This time a mistake from Coco gives Williams the advantage before Venus hits a slightly fortunate forehand that clips the net and gives her the game. She's making Gauff serve out to win the set. 


*Williams 3-5 Gauff (*next to serve)

Williams looks mightily annoyed with herself as Gauff takes a 15-0 lead. A good serve makes it 30-0. 

The 15-year-old slips up on her serve to make it 30-15 and then hits long. Now Williams has a chance to put real pressure on the Gauff serve. 

"Come on," Gauff says, as another good serve makes it 40-30. Williams fails to return the next serve and it's another hold for the youngster. 

United States' Venus Williams makes a forehand return to compatriot Cori "Coco" Gauff  Credit: AP



Williams 3-4 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Boom - an ace whizzes past Gauff as Williams gets off to a good start. But a fine backhand return from Gauff makes it 15-15.

The youngster can't return a second serve from Williams but she takes control of the next point and drifts a beautiful forehand short of Williams. 

Williams fights back to make it 40-30 but Gauff is not backing down - she lashes a forehand past Williams to make it deuce. 

Williams edges ahead with a good serve but she fails to capitalise and hits a forehand into the net. Again she takes the advantage as Gauff hits long....but again, it's deuce, as she hits long. 

A strong serve puts her ahead again but an overcooked forehand makes it deuce for 4th time. 

This time Gauff has the advantage, forcing an error from Williams.  Williams forces Gauff to scramble to the corner before hitting a winner into the other corner.

Another deuce: Williams takes the lead and finally wraps up the hold with an ace.  Phew - Gauff made her work hard for that. 


*Williams 2-4 Gauff (*next to serve)

Can Williams break back? She makes some good returns but Gauff grabs the first point before forcing a wild backhand from Williams. 30-0. 

Williams makes an 8th unforced error as she fails to return a Gauff serve before again hitting a backhand into the net. A comfortable hold for Gauff.  


Williams 2-3 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Williams is starting to hit her stride now and wins the first two points comfortably. After a great rally, Williams comes to net and sends Gauff the wrong way to make it 40-0. She wraps up the game in convincing style and this is more of the Venus of old.

Saying that, Gauff is not playing badly and is still a break up. 


*Williams 1-3 Gauff (*next to serve)

Gauff stutters on her serve this time and then loses a rally to Williams. Under pressure on her serve, she hits a fine forehand down the line to make it 30-15 before levelling it up. Gauff misjudges a hit to the back of the court and Williams has the chance to break. But she can't take it as Gauff hits a fine serve.

Gauff gets the advantage and then she drops a cute forehand to wrap up the game. 

Coco Gauff of the United States of America plays a backhand  Credit: getty



Williams 1-2 Gauff* (*next to serve)

That's better from Williams. She kicks off the game with an ace - but follows it with a double fault. Gauff scampers around the court and extends the lead to a 15-30 lead. Williams slams down an overhead forehand to level it before Gauff fails to reach a backhand. 40-30. 

A strong serve at the body wraps up the game and Williams breathes a huge sigh of relief. 


*Williams 0-2 Gauff (*next to serve)

There's nothing wrong with Gauff's serving. She storms to a 40-0 lead before wrapping up the game. What a lopsided start to the match. 


Williams 0-1 Gauff* (*next to serve)

Gauff gets off the mark first, with Williams missing a backhand completely. A double fault takes it to 0-30 before Williams hits a soft backhand into the net. 0-40.  A better serve from Williams saves the first break point but a strong backhand secures the first break of the match - and it goes to Gauff. 


Williams 0-0 Gauff 

Aaaand we're off. Venus Williams to serve. 



And here they come

Cori 'Coco' Gauff and Venus Williams emerge onto Margaret Court Arena and they start the warm-up. 

And just to remind you who Gauff is, here's a look at how quickly she has risen. 

 Wimbledon's 15-year-old tennis prodigy who has been 'raised for greatness'



Coming up now shortly is  a contest between the oldest and youngest players in the women's draw, with 39-year-old Venus Williams and Coco Gauff meeting in a rematch of their Wimbledon first-round encounter last year.

The 15-year-old Gauff announced herself to a global audience last year with her upset win over the seven-time major winner at Wimbledon.