Underdogs Reign at Wimbledon Day One, as Venus Williams Crashes Out to 15-Year-Old Cori Gauff
Day one of Wimbledon 2019 saw a string of upsets and shock results that not even the best returners in game would have seen coming. Venus Williams certainly didn’t.
The 37-year-old four-time Wimbledon champion was schooled by 15-year-old American Cori Gauff, losing in straight sets to a player 24 years her junior.
Gauff is the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon in the Open era. And while Williams may no longer be in her prime, she is still a formidable opponent on grass — a legend of the game who won two of her Wimbledon titles before Guaff was even born.
And she was expected to win this one too. Odds of 3/1 for a Williams win against the world number 313 would probably have been an irresistible price to a lot of bettors, who will now be ruing their misplaced trust in experience over youth.
“It’s the first time I have ever cried after winning a match,” said Gauff, who has described the Williams sisters as her idols. “I don’t know how to explain how I feel.”
Who is the Youngest Player to Win Wimbledon?
Gauff is an exciting prospect and clearly destined for great things. For those of you who like to bet with your hearts rather than your heads, the youngster is a 40/1 shot to take down the title.
Currently, the youngest player to win a Wimbledon title is Martina Hingis, who captured the women’s doubles championship, with Helena Sukova, at the age of 15 years and nine months. A year later, Hingis won the singles title — the youngest in over 100 years.
British player Lottie Dodd won the title in 1887 at 15 years and 285 days.
While Williams’ defeat was undoubtedly the biggest story in London SW19 on Monday, it was only the beginning.
Second seed and reigning US Open Champ Naomi Osaka also crashed out on Day One, losing to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 on Centre Court. The Japanese star became the first second seed to lose her opening game at Wimbledon, strangely enough, since Martina Hingis almost 20 years ago.
Osaka told the BBC she felt like she was “about to cry” after the match.
Young Guns Crash and Burn
Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas — both touted as the next big thing in men’s tennis, and joint fourth favorites for the title with the bookies — were sensationally dispatched by relative outsiders.
Zverev went down in four sets to qualifier Jiri Vesely, the world No 124, while Tsitsipas was knocked out by the Italian Thomas Fabbiano, a player who had never won a set against a top 20 opponent.
The departure of the two young guns will only strengthen the chances of mega-favorite, Novak Djokovic, who is in imperious form and pretty much even odds, at 11/10 to lift the trophy.
Can veterans Roger Federer or Rafal Nadal stump up a challenge? If it’s going to happen, bookies think Federer is the likelier man to get the job done, despite his advanced years at 37. Federer is 3/1 versus the 33-year-old Nadal’s 13/2.
Meanwhile, oddsmakers are struggling to pick a winner in the Women’s Championship, which is currently a toss up between Karolina Pliskova and Ashleigh Barty, although some bookies have Pliskova as a very slight favorite.
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