Coco Gauff sets up American match with Emma Navarro at Wimbledon

A young American women’s tennis spectacle will highlight the fourth round of Wimbledon.

On Friday, No. 2 Coco Gauff earned her spot to face No.19 Emma Navarro after defeating Sonay Kartal 6-4, 6-0.

Sunday’s match would give the winner a spot in the quarterfinals, which would be a first for either of them at Wimbledon.

Coco Gauff during her third round match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. James Marsh/Shutterstock

“At this point,” Gauff, the 2023 U.S. Open champion, said after the match, “it feels as if losing in the fourth or the quarterfinals feels the same, in a way, just because I do have such big aspirations.”

Gauff, 20, and Navarro, 23, previously met in Auckland during the semifinals of the ASB Classic in January, and the former came out on top in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.

“I think when I played her at the beginning of the year, I wasn’t necessarily ready for that challenge,” Navarro said of Gauff, per the Associated Press. “I know I have the level inside of me that can beat a player like her. It’s maybe just a matter of doing it on a bigger stage.”

Navarro, in the middle of only her second Wimbledon appearance, has recently come alive as a new player, attaining new career highs in Grand Slams this year — making the round of 32 in the Australian Open and round of 16 in the French Open.

She has collected convincing wins to start in London, including a victory over four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka in the second round.

Navarro, born in New York City, powered through to win in the third set on Friday after dropping the first to Diana Shnaider, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Emma Navarro (USA) prepares to hit a backhand against Diana Shnaider (not pictured) in a ladies’ singles match on day five of The Championships Wimbledon 2024 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Emma Navarro of the United States celebrates winning her match against Naomi Osaka of Japan (not shown) on day three of The Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Gauff said she isn’t expecting a cakewalk.

“I always knew she was going to be a talented player …” Gauff said on the ESPN broadcast hours after her match Friday. “What I expect, she is definitely going to play a lot better. I think she’s gonna be really relaxed, she’s already had some great wins this tournament. It’s going to be a tough match.”

To get her over the edge, Gauff said she needs to hone in on her serves on the grass surface at Wimbledon.

Coco Gauff of the USA celebrates after winning the Women’s 3rd round match against Sonay Kartal of Britain at the Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon, Britain, 05 July 2024. TIM IRELAND/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

As a Grand Slam champion, Gauff may enter the match Sunday with more support around her from the crowd, and that is something she’s valued highly since playing in Flushing at the U.S. Open last August.

“Coming from experience playing at home in the U.S., you always just play better and do better,” she said, before engaging with the British crowd.

“Thankfully you guys are pretty nice to me,” she said, “so that helped.”

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