It's a battle of generations in Melbourne as Americans, Venus Williams and Coco Gauff meet in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.
Coco Gauff vs Venus Williams is live from Melbourne on Monday, 20 January from 2:30pm local time/ 3:30am GMT
Coco Gauff vs Venus Williams Match Info
Date: Monday January 20
Tournament: Australian Open R1
Court: Margaret Court Arena
Time: 2.30pm local time (3.30am GMT)
Coco Gauff vs Venus Williams Head-to-Head
2019 | Wimbledon: Coco Gauff bt. Venus Williams 6-4 6-4
Coco Gauff vs Venus Williams Match Preview
Gauff sensationally took out Williams in the first round at Wimbledon last year in a performance that really launched the supremely talented young American into the mainstream.
Before that match at Wimbledon, Gauff had played just one WTA main draw event, in Miami last year, but the teenager did not take long to make her mark the tour. Having become the youngest player in the Open Era to qualify for the Wimbledon, Gauff took out Venus in the opening round, beat former semi-finalist, Magdalena Rybarikova in the second, and Polona Hercog in the third round.
Her run ended in the Round of 16, where she was stopped by eventual champion, Simona Halep. The American was ranked 686th at the start of last season, but she had climbed up to 141st after that Wimbledon run. The young gun continued to rise through the rest of the year, reaching the third round of the US Open, before claiming her maiden tour-level title in Linz in October. Interestingly, Gauff had lost out in the qualifying rounds in Linz, but she got into the main draw as a lucky loser, and certainly made the most of her luck.
Her title run in Linz included a maiden top-ten win over Kiki Bertens, while she closed the tournament with victory over former Roland Garros champion, Jelena Ostapenko in the final. She had moved on to 68th by the end of the season.
The 16-year-old began her 2020 season in Auckland, where she opened with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Viktoria Kuzmova, but fell to Laura Siegemund in three sets in the second round. She’s making her Australian Open debut this year, and as was the case in her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon last year, she starts against legendary compatriot and childhood heroine, Venus Williams.
While Gauff is having her first taste of Australian Open tennis, Williams is competing at the tournament for the 20th time. She has never won the tournament, but she has been to a couple of finals in 2003 and 2017.
That 2017 Australian Open final was part of a superb Grand Slam season for the great American, who also reached the final at Wimbledon, made the semi-finals of the US Open, and returned to the world’s top five. The 39-year-old has not been able to match that form in the last two seasons, and was down at 52nd at the end of the season.
Her best results last year were quarter finals at Indian Wells, Birmingham and Cincinnati and a fourth round run at the Miami Open. She also reached the third round at the Australian Open, beating Mihaela Buzarnescu and Alize Cornet before losing to Simona Halep.
Venus heads into the 2020 Australian Open under an injury cloud, after she pulled out of tournaments in Brisbane and Adelaide due to an unspecified injury she suffered in training. The seven-time Grand Slam champion has fallen in the first round of the Australian Open in three out of the last six seasons, including all even years from 2014- will she buck that trend when she faces Coco Gauff in her 2020 opener on Monday?
Coco Gauff vs Venus Williams Prediction
Gauff has stunned Venus once before on a Grand Slam stage, and she definitely will not be lacking in confidence when steps onto the court against her legendary compatriot. I think she can take out Venus for a second time, especially giving the fitness cloud hanging over the former No. 1, and the fact that this will be Venus’ first match of the season.