Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Wednesday, 03 July 2024 17:47

Gauff crushes qualifier Todoni to reach Wimbledon third round.

By Emily Salley.

World number two Coco Gauff has reached the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over qualifier Anca Todoni of Romania.

The second seed entertained the crowd under the roof on Court One with big hitting to earn a 6-2 6-1 victory in 66 minutes.

Gauff will play British qualifier Sonay Kartal, who claimed the biggest win of her career with victory over France's Clara Burel later on Wednesday.

A second convincing win this week marks progress for American Gauff at SW19 after a surprise exit in the first round last year.

"Overall, I just learned about life a lot. I guess you do as you get older," the 20-year-old said.

"I realised what I do, yes I'm passionate about, but it's not that serious and sometimes the world can make you feel like there's so much pressure, so much expectation.

"At the end of the day, it's a game, it's a sport and I'm very privileged to be playing out here."

Todoni, 19, came into Wednesday's match on the back of a dominant win - and her first victory in a Grand Slam - over fellow qualifier Olga Danilovic, of Serbia.

But she faced a tougher opponent in US Open winner Gauff, who is among the favourites to go the distance at Wimbledon.

After dropping serve early, Todoni couldn't make the most of any chances to break back.

It was an uphill task from there for Todoni, who struggled to absorb Gauff's powerful ball striking and won just three points on her opponent's serve.

American 11th seed Danielle Collins returned to complete a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over Denmark's Clara Tauson after their match was paused on Tuesday evening because of fading light and a slippery surface.

Elina Svitolina, the 21st seed from Ukraine, moved past Poland's Magda Linette with a hard-fought 7-5 6-7 (9-11) 6-3 win.

Meanwhile four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka paid the price for too many errors as she lost in straight sets to 19th seed Emma Navarro.

The 26-year-old, playing at Wimbledon for the first time in five years, was beaten 6-4 6-1 in the second round.

The defeat means Osaka has still not progressed beyond the third round at Wimbledon after four attempts.

Competing as a wildcard after the birth of her first child last year, Osaka missed the 2022 tournament through injury and in 2021 took breaks from the sport to deal with mental health issues.

Elsewhere Emma Raducanu cruised past Belgium's Elise Mertens to join fellow Briton Sonay Kartal in the Wimbledon third round.

Former British number one Raducanu, given a wildcard in her return to the Championships after last year's injury troubles, struck the ball confidently and clinically in a 6-1 6-2 win.

It is the first time she has reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament since lifting the 2021 US Open title as a teenage qualifer.

Raducanu's impressive victory came a couple of hours after 22-year-old qualifier Kartal produced the biggest win of her career to beat France's Clara Burel in three sets.

Kartal, ranked 298th in the world, won 6-3 5-7 6-3 to become the first home player to reach the Wimbledon third round this year. She will face Gauff after the American's win over Anca Todoni.