Teenage tennis rising star Coco Gauff defeated seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams in the opening round of the Australian Open on Monday 7-6 (5), 6-3.
The match was the second time the two faced off in the last year, the first was Gauff’s grand slam debut at Wimbledon, which she also won.
The battle in Melbourne saw Gauff get off to an early lead in the opening set before Williams, who is 24 years older, clawed back into the set before a 7-5 finish in a tie break.
CNN reports Gauff also established an early lead in the second set but would not allow Williams to come back, closing the match in an hour and 37 minutes.
“I just want to say thank you guys, you guys were chanting my name and I only thought that would happen at the US Open,” Gauff said after the win. “To hear that here in Australia means a lot to me.”
CBS Sports notes Gauff was surprised to see that she was matched up with Williams in the first round following their first Grand Slam tournament clash.
“I was a bit shocked,” Gauff said. “I’m sure everyone was a bit shocked.”
Gauff would also state that she was more confident in the match opposed to Wimbledon.
“I think I was used to playing on big courts, so the crowd – I guess the size of the crowd didn’t startle me as much as last time,” Gauff said. “Definitely a bit more positive coming into this match.”
The match was held on Margaret Court Arena, which was needed due to the air quality from the Australian wildfires and a strong storm that arrived during play, stalling some matches and postponing others to Tuesday.
Gauff says she wants “to be the greatest” and “to win as many Grand Slams as possible.”