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Agony Of Coco Gauff’s Defeat, Ecstasy Of Alison Riske’s Upset Define Team USA’s Round 4 At Wimbledon

By Karen Price | July 08, 2019, 12:10 p.m. (ET)

Alison Riske competes in her fourth round match at Wimbledon on July 8, 2019 in London.


Coco Gauff’s inspiring Wimbledon run ended at the hands of former world No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania on Monday, but a pair of U.S. women advanced to the quarterfinals and will play one another as the tournament at the All England Lawn Tennis Club entered its second week. 

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams will take on unseeded Alison Riske, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who became the latest American woman to oust a high seed when she defeated the highest of them all, No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. 

The 2019 French Open winner was on a 15-match winning streak, and after a first-set victory looked to be headed toward No. 16, but Riske took advantage when Barty’s serve got shaky in the second set. With the third set 4-3 in favor of Riske, she broke serve and then closed things out on her first match point. 

Riske’s first full season on the WTA Tour was 2010 and in 2014 she cracked the top 10. She’s advanced in several Grand Slam tournaments, including the third round of the Australian Open in 2014 and 2017 and the fourth round of the US Open in 2013, but this is her first time ever advancing to a quarterfinal in 30 Grand Slam appearances.

She'll face a formidable opponent in Williams, who lodged a quick and easy 6-2, 6-2 win over Spain’s No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro. This will be Williams’ 14th Wimbledon quarterfinal and no matter what happens it will be the fifth year in a row that an American woman has played in a semifinal at Wimbledon. Williams broke early in both sets, had a total of 14 winners and needed just 63 minutes to subdue her opponent and march on. 

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Gauff, 15, captured the attention of the world when she defeated Venus Williams in the first round, then became the youngest player to advance to the round of 16 in 28 years. After her last win she posted a video to social media reacting to all the celebrity shout-outs she was getting from new fans including former First Lady Michelle Obama, Jaden Smith, Snoop Dogg and Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson. 

Halep proved to be a challenge she couldn’t conquer — for now — as Gauff fell 6-2, 6-2 against the more experienced No. 7 seed.

The only two U.S. men remaining in the singles draw met one another on Monday. Olympian Sam Querrey and Tennys Sandgren played in the first matchup between two U.S. men in the fourth round or later at a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick beat Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Australian Open.

Querrey, who is coming off a layoff this spring due to an abdominal injury, claimed the victory in a back-and-forth match, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5). It’s been a decade since a U.S. man made a Grand Slam final, dating back to Roddick’s loss to Roger Federer in the 2009 Wimbledon final. 

In doubles, Olympic gold medalist brothers Bob and Mike Bryan were into the third round, along with Danielle Collins and Olympic champ Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The all-star, cross-Atlantic mixed doubles team of Serena Williams and Andy Murray is set to play a second-round match on Tuesday.

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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