Coco Gauff is through to Wimbledon's fourth round, having saved two match points in her clash with Polona Hercog.
Coco Gauff is through to Wimbledon's fourth round, having saved two match points in her clash with Polona Hercog.

Legend grows as teen’s dream Wimbledon run continues

TEEN sensation Coco Gauff does not believe either fate or destiny will play a role if she is to go on and win Wimbledon, saying it would be solely down to her own talent.

The 15-year-old may not have produced her most assured performance on Friday (local time) but she showed real mettle in staying in the match and saving two match points before beating Slovenian Polona Hercog 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 7-5 in just under three hours.

Gauff - who jumped in the air in delight while her parents saluted her from the players' box, - next plays former world No.1 Simona Halep.

But win or lose it will be down to Gauff and not outside forces.

"I don't really believe in fate and destiny," she said. "I feel like you can kind of change your own world.

"Like sometimes fate can always not be a good thing. Sometimes fate can be a bad thing. I try not to think of it as my destiny or whatever."

Gauff, who at 15 was the youngest player to qualify for the women's singles, said there could be negative results if she felt it was her destiny to win the title.

"I feel like if I do think about it like that, then my head's going to get big," she said.

"I'm always hearing. You're going to do this one day, do that one day.

"If I kind of relax now, then that won't happen. I try not to think of it like that."

Gauff, who started proceedings at the press conference by advising people to stream US rapper Jaden Smith's newly released album, said the tough losses she'd had along the way since taking up a racquet at age eight had been a learning curve.

"I feel like you kind of have to experience the down moments to be able to experience the high," she said.

"But I don't think this is just a one-time thing. I mean, I won three matches now, so I think I kind of proved my own.

"This moment is an incredible moment. I'm still excited I get to keep living it.

"I think just losing the tough, tough matches definitely prepared me for today."

Gauff - who still has a way to go to emulate the feat of then 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati, who  in 1991 reached the Wimbledon semi-finals, said her father Corey, who coached her in her early years, and her mother Candi were keeping her focused.

"She definitely changed my mindset in how I look on things," Gauff said.

"My dad, he's the reason why I dream so big.

"I think the kind of believing part of my dad and the more stay focused, stay calm of my mom is like a good mix.

"They definitely work together well to tell me the right things."