Coco Gauff closes in on big career milestone after latest Wimbledon win – but tough test awaits

Coco Gauff in action
A happy Coco Gauff during her match.

Coco Gauff is one win away from a significant career milestone after easing through to the second week of Wimbledon with another comprehensive win.

World No 2 and second seed Gauff was a heavy favourite in her third round match against British qualifier Sonay Kartal, who was competing at this stage of a major for the first time.

And, after a more competitive first set, the American eased over the line with a confident 6-4, 6-0 victory to return to the second week at SW19 for the first time since 2021.

“I think this is my first time playing a British player here,” said Gauff, who is used to crowd support at most tournaments she plays in.

“I was a little nervous honestly. I knew you guys would be for her which is understandable – thankfully you guys were pretty nice to me!”

Gauff is yet to drop a set in her campaign and has matched her runs in 2019 and 2021 by reaching this stage of the tournament.

The world No 2 started her quest for the title with a comprehensive win over compatriot Caroline Dolehide, before defeating Romanian qualifier Anca Todoni in round two.

The 20-year-old is the youngest WTA player since Agnieszka Radwanska in 2009 to progress to the second week at Wimbledon three times – though will be confident of going further this time around.

Having won the US Open, reached the final at Roland Garros, and semi-final of the Australian Open, victory in round four would see her complete the set of Grand Slam quarter-finals.

However, after three comprehensive victories so far, Gauff will likely have a much tougher test in her next match – set to be this Sunday – against 19th seed Emma Navarro.

Navarro is in the form of her life, and is currently projected to break the top 15 of the WTA Rankings for the first time once the tournament is complete.

The US star won her first WTA title in Hobart earlier this year and is in the second week of a Slam for the second time, after also reaching round four at the French Open last month.

The 23-year-old dispatched Wang Qiang for the loss of just two games in round one, before impressing in a comprehensive win over former world No 1 Naomi Osaka in the second round – her Centre Court debut.

Navarro had a much tougher time in round three against recent Bad Homburg champion Diana Shnaider, but rallied from a set down to beat the Russian 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and set up an all-American clash.

She is no stranger to the big occasion, having beaten Aryna Sabalenka in Indian Wells this spring, and downing Madison Keys at the French Open.

Gauff won their only previous meeting convincingly, dropping just four games in the semi-finals of the Auckland Open back in January.

However, this should prove to be a much tougher task for her – and is undoubtedly the first significant test of her Wimbledon title credentials.

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