Coco Gauff’s Wimbledon woe continues as she suffers fourth-round exit

Coco Gauff failed to smash through her grass ceiling as she missed out on reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals again.

The second seed was beaten in straight sets, 6-4 6-3, by fellow American Emma Navarro on Centre Court.

Wimbledon remains the only grand slam at which Gauff, the reigning champion on the hard courts at the US Open and a runner-up on the Roland Garros clay, has not reached the last eight.

Emma Navarro and Coco Gauff hug at the net
Emma Navarro and Coco Gauff hug after their fourth-round match (John Walton/PA)

She had previously reached the fourth round on the lawns of SW19 twice, including on her debut in 2019 when, as a precocious 15-year-old, she beat former champion Venus Williams.

Gauff looked like a genuine contender for the title this year with the draw having opened up nicely, not least with Saturday’s defeat of her nemesis, the world number one Iga Swiatek.

But now it is Navarro, the 23-year-old New Yorker who knocked out Naomi Osaka in round two, who can take advantage.

She will face Italian seventh seed Jasmine Paolini on Tuesday with a potential semi-final against either qualifier Lulu Sun or Croatian world number 37 Donna Vekic.

“I’m just really grateful to be out here on Centre Court at a tournament of great tradition and great history. I can’t wait to play again,” said Navarro.

“I played aggressively. Coco is an amazing player and I have a ton of respect for her. I wanted to push back on her game and I think I was able to do that.”

Gauff looked comfortable in her game when she forced an early break but Navarro hit straight back,

Coco Gauff stretches to hit a volley
Coco Gauff stretches to hit a volley (John Walton/PA)

The 19th seed then forced two set points on the Gauff serve and took the second with a flashing winner down the line.

The Gauff forehand was leaking badly and she cut a dejected figure as Navarro grabbed another break for 3-1 in the second set.

Gauff saved two match points as Navarro served but fell to a third, plopping another forehand tamely into the net.

Emma Navarro celebrates beating Coco Gauff
Emma Navarro celebrates beating Coco Gauff (John Walton/PA)

The 20-year-old had been angrily gesturing to her player’s box throughout the second set, and she said: “I think we had a game plan going in. I felt that it wasn’t working.

“Today was one of those rare moments where I felt I didn’t have solutions. I think today mentally there was a lot going on. I felt like I wanted more direction from the box.

“I felt today I don’t think we were all in sync. It’s no one’s blame except myself. I mean, I’m the player out there. I have to make decisions for myself on the court.”

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