US teenager the toast of Wimbledon after powering past Venus Williams
A 15-year-old schoolgirl was the toast of the first day of Wimbledon after she defeated her tennis idol Venus Williams.
American Cori Gauff, known as Coco, said she was “living my dream” after beating the seven-time grand slam champion, who is 24 years her senior.
No 1 Court erupted into cheers and applause after the teenager cliched a remarkable 6-4 6-4 victory on Monday.
Speaking after the game, Gauff said she had thanked Williams for “inspiring” her.
“I always wanted to tell her that, even though I met her before, I guess now I had the guts to,” Gauff said.
Williams said “the sky’s the limit” when asked about the teenager’s future prospects.
Elsewhere on Monday, Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund became the first Britons to book their places in the next round with straight set victories.
Thousands of fans enjoyed a largely sunny start to Wimbledon on Monday where the temperature rose to 22C.
St John Ambulance said it had treated 10 people for suspected heat related conditions.
Dedicated fans travelled from as far away from as Japan and India to camp out for two nights and secure tickets to the tournament’s show courts.
First in line was Stuart Bere, 44, a civil servant from Lincolnshire, the third time he has managed that feat since 2011.
He praised Wimbledon’s “great entertainment” and described the Centre Court atmosphere as a “cauldron of joy”.
Fan favourite Andy Murray, appearing only as a doubles player at this year’s Wimbledon, did not feature in Monday’s schedule.
All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said it was possible the Scot’s first match would be on Centre Court or No 1 Court to to ensure the safe movement of players around the grounds.
He added: “Getting players to Court No 2, for example, it’s quite a long way in the public area so that’s always a consideration for any of the top players.
“It’s not just Andy, any of the big name players it’s always a consideration.”
According to the All England Club, the last time a first round men’s doubles match was played on a show court was in 2001.
One subtle change in action on Monday was umpires dropping the use of the titles of “Miss” and “Mrs” when announcing game and end of match scores.
The long standing practice had been changed to “achieve consistency” in the men’s and women’s competitions, the All England Club said.
In the men’s draw Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, touted as part of the next generation of men’s tennis, suffered shock defeats.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic sailed through his match against Phillip Kohlschreiber.
In the women’s draw, Yulia Putinseva knocked second seed Naomi Osaka out of the competition.