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Friday, 05 July 2024 19:38

Coco Gauff ends Sonay Kartal's impressive Wimbledon run.

By Alan Jewell

World number two Coco Gauff ended the run of British qualifier Sonay Kartal to reach the Wimbledon fourth round.

The world number 298 tested the second seed in the first set before Gauff established control.

Kartal, the first British qualifier to reach the third round at SW19 since 1997, was beaten 6-4 6-0 under the roof on Court One.

Gauff will play fellow American Emma Navarro, the 19th seed, in the last 16.

"She was playing at a high level and wasn't giving me much to work with," said Gauff. "She mixes up her variety and didn't let me settle. I felt I was going for the right shots but just missing.

"Eventually I found them and was able to win."

Kartal's run has been one of the stories of Wimbledon so far. Raised in Brighton, she regularly played Emma Raducanu at junior level and a clip of a long rally between them when they were nine has previously gone viral.

Raducanu won the 2021 US Open as an 18-year-old qualifier, but Kartal's development has been checked by injuries and illness. Earlier this year, she did not expect to play at Wimbledon because of a "scary" health problem.

This week, Kartal said she had "spent my whole life kind of under the radar a little bit", but playing the current US Open champion gave her the opportunity to step into the spotlight.

It was an unnerving start as Gauff won the first eight points but Kartal settled and went toe-to-toe with her opponent from the baseline. The crowd responded and a Gauff double fault allowed her to break back for 4-4.

However, the match turned in the next game when, at deuce, a Gauff backhand was called long. The American challenged and celebrated when the review showed the ball clipping the back of the line. Another backhand winner on the next point gave her the break and, soon after, a Gauff ace sealed the set, prompting a roar to her team.

Kartal was again broken to love at the start of the second set and Gauff, who won 90% of her first-serve points, raced through it to move on.

Meanwhile Jasmine Paolini reached the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time by impressively defeating Bianca Andreescu.

The French Open finalist, seeded seventh, won 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 under the roof on Court One.

There was little to separate the players in the first set as they both looked to attack at the first opportunity, but Andreescu could not maintain her level.

Italian Paolini, 28, is into the second week having never previously won a match at Wimbledon until this year.

It continues a remarkable career surge - she had not gone beyond the second round of a Grand Slam until 2024.

In the last 16, she will play American 12th seed Madison Keys, who defeated Marta Kostyuk 6-4 6-3.

Elsewhere, Eastbourne champion Daria Kasatkina, seeded 14th, lost 6-7 (6-8) 4-6 6-4 to Spaniard Paula Badosa.

Emma Navarro, the 19th seed, beat Russian Diana Shnaider 2-6 6-3 6-4 and will next play second seed and fellow American Coco Gauff or Britain's Sonay Kartal.