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Youngsters Coco Gauff, Sofia Kenin, Amanda Anisimova Highlight U.S. Performances At Wimbledon Opening Round

By Karen Price | July 02, 2019, 6:26 p.m. (ET)

Amanda Anisimova plays in the first round against Sorana Cirstea at Wimbledon 2019 on July 02, 2019 in London, England.


The French Open saw a number of young U.S. women make a big impact, and now yet another teenager has grabbed the spotlight early on at Wimbledon.

Cori Gauff, who goes by “Coco,” is just 15 years old and the youngest player in the Open Era to reach Wimbledon’s main draw through qualifying, and on Monday she upset five-time Olympian and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4. Gauff is now the youngest woman since Jennifer Capriati in 1991 (14) to win a singles match at Wimbledon.

It was just a month ago that 20-year-old Sofia Kenin, a 2014 Youth Olympian, upset Serena Williams in the third round at the French Open, and now she’s ranked No. 27 and got through her first-round match beating Australia’s Astra Sharma 6-4, 6-2 to advance at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Amanda Anisimova, who last month advanced as an unseeded player and became the youngest player to reach the semifinals at the French Open in over a decade at the age of 17, came into Wimbledon ranked No. 25 and notched an easy 6-3, 6-3 victory over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea to kick things off.

Also breezing through the first round were some of the usual suspects who’ve represented the best of the U.S. in recent years, including No. 11 Serena Williams. The four-time Olympian, who is still looking to win her first Grand Slam title since motherhood and match Margaret Court’s record of 24 major victories, defeated Italy’s Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the second round.

No. 17 Madison Keys ousted Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum 6-3, 6-2, and No. 9 Sloane Stephens, the highest-ranked American woman in the tournament, beat Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-4. The 2016 Olympians are looking to make it past the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time.

In total, 11 American women are moving on after the first round.

In an upset, Madison Brengle topped No. 16 Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. Alison Riske also won in a late upset Tuesday, beating No. 22 Donna Vekic of Croatia 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Meanwhile, Danielle Collins defeated Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 6-3, 7-5, Lauren Davis upended Kateryna Kozlova of the Ukraine 6-3, 6-2, and Taylor Townsend beat Australia’s Arina Rodionova, 6-2, 6-3.

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In addition to Venus Williams, seven other U.S. women did not advance: Kristie Ahn, Jessica Pegula, Jennifer Brady, Shelby Rogers, Bernarda Pera, Caty McNally and 2012 Olympian Christina McHale.

On the men’s side, 2008 Olympian Sam Querrey registered the biggest upset of the first round, knocking out No. 5. Dominic Thiem of France 6-7 (4), 7-6 (1), 6-3, 6-0 in a match that lasted two and a half hours. The big-serving Querrey, who was on the verge of falling behind by two sets to start the match, fought back just one week after returning from a nearly three-month layoff with an abdominal injury. It was his third career win over a top-five player, while Thiem was the highest men’s seed to fall in round one.

Six other American men move on to Round 2.

John Isner, the only seeded U.S. man at No. 9, defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud after a marathon third set, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (9). Isner last played in March, when he broke his foot at the Miami Open. Last year he advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to John Anderson in the longest match in Wimbledon history, clocking in at 6 hours, 36 minutes.

Tennys Sandgren defeated Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, Steve Johnson topped Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, and Taylor Fritz also registered a straight-set victory in his match, beating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. Denis Kudla advanced out of the first round with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, and Reilly Opelka also earned his way to the second round, beating Germany’s Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1.

Frances Tiafoe was among those who did not advance, losing to No. 12 Fabio Fognini of Italy 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The other American men who fell in the first round were Bradley Klahn, Marcos Giron and Noah Rubin. 

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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