Held in London during the height of an English summer, each year the world’s greatest tennis players descend into Wimbledon for its annual Grand Slam Championships. Garnering a passionate fan base including the royal family, it is one of the most anticipated events on the sporting schedule. Overnight however as round one of gameplay kicked off, the tennis community as well as its fans were left in shock after four major upsets – or for some, triumphs – disrupted the two-week tournament.
While surprise wild cards are among some of the champions, the Grand Slam season can often be quite predictable, though this was abolished immediately as American darling, Venus Williams was knocked out albeit, by an unlikely opponent. Entering the tournament ranked at no. 313, 15-year-old Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff won the match against the 39-year-old with a final score of, 6-4, 6-4.
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“I don’t really know how to feel, this is the first time I’ve cried after a match, after winning,” Gauff told the BBC, adding, “I never thought this would happen. I’m living my dream right now, not many people get to say that.”
However elsewhere, the shining prodigies of tennis, Naomi Osaka, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were all knocked out in devastating losses.
Following her spectacular win at the Australian Open in January, Japanese-American player Osaka has failed to make another Grand Slam final and after suffering a loss against no. 39 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in straight sets.
Zverev and Tsitsipas were another pair of Australian Open hopefuls who both saw exits on Sunday – Zverev, 22, lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely and 20-year-old Tsitsipas lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3 to no. 89 Thomas Fabbiano of Italy.
Round one continues today and closer to home, matches featuring Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur will have the country eagerly looking on.
Stay tuned for more on Wimbledon 2019.