2019 Wimbledon Wildcards: Clarke, Watson, Jubb & Gauff – Black Tennis Magazine | News & Media
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2019 Wimbledon Wildcards: Clarke, Watson, Jubb & Gauff

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By Editorial Team

Grass court season is coming into full bloom as the Wimbledon Championships are only days away; the qualifying rounds begin on Monday the 24th. This year there were four black wildcards that will compete for a title.

The timing of the wildcard announcement caught both fans and players off-guard. Some players only had days to prepare for their qualifying matches with such late notices. In addition, according to the wimbledon.com website, there are still 6 spots available (2 men and 4 women) that have not been used or reserved for next direct acceptance.

Regardless of the selection process or timing, this year’s wildcards are very deserving and have a real chance of making a dent in the main draw. Many have been competing in the warm-up tournaments this week and last week honing their games and adjusting to the high level of play expected during the Championships at the  All England Club.

The draws have not been released yet, but our Editorial Team has put together the current list of wildcards and their status leading into the tournament.

Jay Clarke is one of England’s rising stars. With a top 150 ranking he is sure to make a splash in this year’s main draw as a wildcard recipient. Jay has the perfect all-around game for the grass courts as he is able to serve and volley effortlessly and attack using his big forehand weapon from the ground. It is important that Jay continue his quest toward the top 100 and a couple of wins in the main draw will definitely springboard this young 20 year old into tennis stardom.

Heather Watson is definitely not new to this. This is her 6th year at Wimbledon, but she is still gathering her footing on the WTA Tour after the close upset she had against Serena several years back at Wimbledon. Heather will attempt to rekindle that spark once lit. With a more focused and consistent training schedule and better efforts in major events, Heather could easily go deep in grand slams. She is hoping that a couple of wins here in Wimbledon could put her back into the spotlight as the top European tennis talent.

Paul Jubb is also an England homeboy who made such a heroic effort to win the 2019 NCAA Collegiate Championships last month. In addition to the main draw US Open wildcard he was able secure the Wimbledon main draw wildcard due to his British heritage. Paul could make some noise in the main draw with a big win, but he will mostly likely use the experience to propel his pro career and hopefully sidestep the more grueling ITF World Tennis Tour. Expect to see great things from the University of South Carolina tennis star.

Cori Gauff has been coming on strong professionally this year after winning the French Open Juniors last year and getting past the first round in the Miami Open. This qualifying draw wildcard definitely gives her a boost to complete against the world’s best. One of Cori’s biggest strengths is that she is a very quick learner and can make adjustments from tournament to tournament. Expect to see a qualifying winner and main draw birth from one of the world’s best young talents at age 15.

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Gauff seeks Wimbledon title NOW at age 15

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By Editorial Team

Cori “CoCo” Gauff has taken the WTA Tour by storm after qualifying for the main draw and later shredding the competition to reach the round of 16.

After a shocking first round win against Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4, Cori was able to avoid some heavyweights along the way. 10th seeded Aryna Sabalenka was outed by Rybarikova and Madison Keys got outplayed by Hercog just in time for Cori to take full advantage.

Its safe to say that Cori would have had a hard time defeating three heavyweights consecutively. However, considering her fortune of outstanding play and unwavering confidence, it is not out of the question to assume that Cori could have willed herself to defeat Keys and Sabalenka.

Now with the first week behind her and history in the books, Cori is set to face former number one Simona Halep. Simona remains to be deadly force on the WTA Tour as last year’s French Open champion.

This is the first encounter between these two, but Simona does not have a Wimbledon title and she did lose in the 3rd round last year. Cori has been able to recover quickly from big emotional wins and regain her focus. She must be able to put such a great week behind her and compete against one of the Tour’s best on Monday.

The odds favor Simona given her experience, but a wildcard for Cori remains as heart and sheer determination can’t be measured.

The keys for Cori are to simply attack the net while maintaining a high first serve percentage. If there is pressure early on in the match Simona could lose the momentum and crowd support. If the match swings in favor of Cori and she is able to win this match her chances of advancing further is tremendous with 2nd seeded Osaka out early.

In response to the whirlwind success her Dad, Corey Gauff, stated,

“I thought we’d be home celebrating the fourth of July. When she plays Simona, that’s going to be her seventh match in the two weeks, but I’m happy. I’m saying, to win a (grand slam) tournament you have to get to the seventh match so in my mind we’ve gotten to the seventh match.”

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A grand slam title is not the question for Cori, but when. She is certainly the next generation in women’s tennis and also a huge motivation for junior tennis players across the globe.

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Battle of the ages: Venus vs. CoCo

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By Editorial Team

In addition to becoming the youngest player to enter the main draw of Wimbledon via qualifying, Cori “CoCo” Gauff has earned a prim-time match-up against one of the greatest grass court players of all time in the first round of play.

This match is not only a first, but also a sharp contrast of current generation talent versus veteran grand slam champion. Venus just turned 39 this month and must now face the 15 year old dynamo that goes by CoCo making this a true battle of the ages. Ironically, as in a Hollywood movie, these two are respectively the oldest and youngest players in the tournament.

Venus can sure respect Cori’s hustle in advancing her career at the ripe age of 15. Venus shares a similar start, but was able to win 5 Wimbledon titles with the last win in 2008.

Coming off of a great 2017 season, Venus (unseeded this year) has struggled lately with injuries and fatigue late in matches. This year has not rolled out favorably for Venus after several on-off coaching relationships and hitting partners. Taking on a more independent role of seasoned veteran, Venus is going at it alone on tour. She has a strong management team in place, but they appear to be more assistants than highly experienced coaches giving her instruction.

In contrast, Cori has a tight-knit team around her not to mention her father as head coach. There have been several assistants offering advice, but Corey remains the largest influence on Cori’s progress.

Progress is exactly what they have made – and in short record time. Just last year Cori was making her way toward the Roehamption Championship title as the world’s number one ranked junior. It seems as if Cori has a trusting relationship with her Dad and is able to take constructive criticism in stride. Hard work has been Cori’s mantra since the beginning of her junior career, and that hard work and preparation has landed her here at Wimbledon with a main draw match against Venus Williams.

The odds heavily favor Venus, but nothing is out of the question for Cori. Given the fact that she has played each qualifying round with a “nothing to lose” attitude, it can only be assumed that she will continue to do the same in her first round match.

The big stage is also a factor as Cori has not played on such a large WTA Tour center court yet in her career. This will definitely be a learning experience for Cori. It may be a little ambitious to expect Cori to figure out the atmosphere and surroundings all within a 2 out of 3 match. Cori is undefeated at Roehamption (ITF Juniors and WTA Qualifying), but it remains to be seen if she can muster a win against a declining, but a still very capable Venus Williams on her favorite surface.

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Gauff reaches for “the bag” in Final Wimbledon Qualifying

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By Editorial Team

Cori “CoCo” Gauff made her way into the Wimbledon qualifying final by shredding the number one seeded Aliona Bolsova 6-3, 6-4 in the first round.

Cori did not have much time to prepare for the grass courts due to the late notice in receiving the wildcard. Many travel plans had to be shifted including school studies. It was a common thread in regards to the last minute timing of Wimbledon announcing the wildcards.

However, it did not take Cori much time to get adjusted since the 2018 Junior Championships where she crashed out early after winning the Junior French Open.

The match up against Aliona couldn’t have been any better for Cori’s attacking style. She was able to push the slower Spaniard around the court and use her athletic ability to on the faster court surface.

The following round against Ivakhenko was no different as Cori overpowered her and was able to shorten the points to win easily 6-2, 6-3.

Tomorrow’s final qualifying round will give Cori an opportunity to showcase her talent and also give her a spot in the main draw to test her skill against the world’s best. However, the world #129, Greet Minnen, will not go down easily. These two has never played on tour, but Cori will definitely have to bring her “A Game” and compete well to win.

As of today Cori is undefeated at the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehamption and will fight to the end to keep her winning streak alive as she reaches for another big payday ($57,136) as a main draw participant.

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