Coco Gauff survives a scare to come through tough first round encounter with Elena-Gabriela Ruse 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 after gruelling two and a half hour match on court two
- Coco Gauff comes through difficult test against Elena-Gabriela Ruse
- The 11th seed Coco Gauff was rarely at her best but emerged victorious
- Teenager is on the same side of the draw as Iga Swiatek and Serena Williams
- Coco Gauff will meet another Romanian in Mihaela Buzarnescu in the next round
- Follow Tuesday’s action from Wimbledon live HERE
Coco Gauff squeaked through to the second round of Wimbledon after winning an epic clash with Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse .
The 18-year-old American was very far from clinical – converting only four of 25 break points – but she edged it 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. She will face another Romanian – veteran Mihaela Buzarnescu – in Thursday’s second round.
It was here at Wimbledon that Gauff emerged as a 15-year-old in 2019 and she has made steady progress towards the top of the game ever since.
Coco Gauff was made to work for her first round victory on court number two at Wimbledon
Another milestone was ticked off in Paris when Gauff made the French Open final, losing to the unstoppable world No1 Iga Swiatek.
She came into Wimbledon with confidence on the back of an impressive run to the semi-finals on the grass of Berlin.
But there was little sign of that form initially as she struggled in the first set in windy conditions out on Court 2.
Ruse, who rose rapidly up the rankings with a breakthrough 2021 season and was returning superbly, neutralising Gauff’s serve. But the American worked her way back in the match in the second set, staying in the points and looking to extract errors rather than rushing to end the point herself.
The American appeared out-of-sorts for much of the match against Elena-Gabriela Ruse
And when she did come under pressure on her serve, she found the 120mph bombs when she needed them most.
An early break in the third set and she looked well on her way to victory, but Ruse refused to go quietly and hit back for 3-3.
Both women were playing well by this stage and the pattern of the match was Gauff deep behind the baseline, scampering around with her superb athleticism, and Ruse blazing away with her forehand trying to find a way through.
The pattern of the match by the back end of the third set saw both women playing well
Both displayed athleticism across the court with Elena-Gabriela Ruse often pinning Coco Gauff back behind the baseline
Ruse saved five break points in a long ninth game to force Gauff to serve to stay in the match at 4-5.
It was the same again at 5-5 when Gauff squandered four break points. But she brought up a fifth with a laser-guided missile of a backhand down the line and Ruse double faulted – the way the set was shaping up that looked the only way Gauff was going to break through.
The young American cranked up her serve and saw the match out to love.
Coco Gauff eventually came through the encounter and she will meet another Romanian in Mihaela Buzarnescu in the next round