Navarro ousts Gauff, reaches Wimbledon quarters



LONDON — Coco Gauff has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon, and she exited at that stage again on Sunday, eliminated by Emma Navarro 6-4, 6-3 in an all-American matchup.

This was the latest in a series of departures by top women from the bracket this year at the All England Club: No. 1 Iga Swiatek lost on Saturday, No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka withdrew before playing a match and No. 6 Marketa Vondrousova was defeated in the first round.

Only two of the 10 highest-seeded women remain: 2022 champion Elena Rybakina, who is No. 4, and recent French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini, who is No. 7.

“I don’t have a ton of words,” said the 19th-seeded Navarro, a 23-year-old who grew up in South Carolina and won an NCAA championship for Virginia.

“I played really aggressively. Coco’s obviously an amazing player. I have a ton of respect for her and what she’s done at such a young age is really amazing. I knew she wasn’t going to make it easy on me tonight,” said Navarro, who reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. “But I wanted to play aggressively and push back against her game and I think I was able to do that.”

She showed exactly the type of tennis she’s capable of playing in the second round, when she got past four-time major champion Naomi Osaka.

The No. 2-seeded Gauff, a 20-year-old from Florida, is the reigning US Open champion, and she also has been the runner-up at the French Open and reached the semifinals at the Australian Open.

And while her first big breakthrough came at the All England Club at age 15, when she became the youngest qualifier in tournament history and beat Venus Williams in the first round en route to getting to the fourth, Gauff never has bettered that result.

She also exited in the fourth round in her next appearance, in 2021, then lost in the third round in 2022 and the first round a year ago.

On Sunday, Gauff kept making mistakes — she finished with more than twice as many unforced errors, 25, as winners, 12 — and would look up as if to seek advice from her Centre Court guest box, where one of her two coaches, Brad Gilbert, often stood with his hands on his hips.

Her biggest issue was the shot that opponents know is Gauff’s weakness: the forehand.

Navarro kept hitting to that side, and it worked.

Gauff made 16 unforced errors with forehands, and another 16 forced errors, accounting for 32 of the 61 total points won by Navarro.



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