Gauff sees off Besnina and cruises for the third round

American teenager Coco Gauff advanced to Wimbledon’s third round on Thursday with a compelling 6–4 6–3 victory over Russia’s Elena Besnina on the center court.

Former doubles number one, Besnina, 34, twice as old as Gauff, is one of Wimbledon’s many mothers. Almost three years after April, she returned to the tour from maternity leave in a protected ranking.

Gauff, who entered the fourth round with his main draw debut at the age of 15 in 2019, fell 2–2 on the opening set, but quickly recovered and thumbs up the chair referee. To show that she was okay to continue.

The openinger’s turning point was 3–3, when the Americans made two backhand errors and defeated Besnina, who double-faulted to give Gauff a lead. Then the 20th seed provided the set and sealed it when Beth Nina found the net.

Coco Gauff of the United States won the second round against Elena Besnina of Russia on the fourth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championship held at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London, England on July 1, 2021. To celebrate. (Paul Childs / Reuters)
Coco Gauff of the United States won the second round of the 2021 Wimbledon Championship on July 1, 2021 at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London, England, and then Elenabeth of Russia. Shake hands with Nina. (Paul Childs / Reuters)

Gauff brought that momentum to the second set with a double break, leading 3-0 and continuing to target Vesnina’s backhand as the Russians made many errors.

Besnina was then re-energized as she demanded a medical time-out to get back treatment and defeated Gauff for the first time in the match and rallyed to make it 3–2.

A stroke of luck at 4–3 allowed Gauff to take the lead when Rob fell on the net tape and dribbled. This leads to Besnina’s frustration. The Americans then broke again in the final game when their opponent made their fourth double fault.

The American then broke again when his opponent made his fourth double fault at match points.

“I feel like I’ve changed a lot and I’ve grown up. I don’t think too many people knew my name the last time I was on this court,” Gauff added.

“I’m a little relaxed now. In 2019 I enjoyed the experience, and now I’m learning, but I believe I can win and take part in these matches.”

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