Cori Gauff: history maker at Wimbledon

Fifteen-year-old Cori Gauff of the United States made history on Thursday when she became the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon.

African-American Gauff will also be the first 15-year-old to compete in the main draw since Britain’s Laura Robson in 2009 after defeating 19th seed Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-1, 6-1.

“I can do anything I put my mind to,” said the 301 world-ranked Gauff who was playing in qualifying on a wild card.

Born 13 March 2004, Gauff started playing tennis at 7.

Although she grew up in Atlanta, she moved to Florida to have better opportunities to train in tennis.

Her father Corey played basketball at Georgia State University and her mother Candi was a track and field athlete at Florida State University.

Gauff made her ITF debut in May 2018 as a qualifier into the $25K event at Osprey, where she won her first professional match. She has a WTA ranking of 874th.

In October 2018 she signed her first multi-year sponsorship contract with New Balance.

Other qualifiers:

Lesley Kerkhove ended wildcard Sabine Lisicki’s hopes of a fairytale run into the main draw.

The 2013 runner-up from Germany had scored consecutive wins for the first time since November to reach the third round.

But after a first-set 22-minute rout, Kerkhove hit back to win 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 and make the main draw for the first time.

Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans was also making history as the 31-year-old qualified for Wimbledon for a modern era record sixth time by beating American Donald Young 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

Australian 19-year-old Alexei Popyrin defeated American Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 7-6 (7/6), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (8/6).

Top seed Corentin Moutet, 20, of France qualified with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win and will be making his main draw debut.

Italy will have nine men in the main draw after Andrea Arnaboldi and Salvatore Caruso qualified.

Arnaboldi battled past Evgeny Karlovskiy 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 while Caruso knocked out Brayden Schnur of Canada, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.