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Sonay Kartal’s impressive Wimbledon run ended by world number two Coco Gauff

Sonay Kartal was beaten in straight sets by the world number two Coco Gauff (Aaron Chown/PA)
Sonay Kartal was beaten in straight sets by the world number two Coco Gauff (Aaron Chown/PA)

Sonay Kartal’s impressive Wimbledon campaign ended in the third round after a straight-sets loss to US Open champion Coco Gauff.

World number 298 Kartal only won three games at the All England Club last year but managed more than that against Gauff and even broke the American in the first set on Court One.

Kartal held her own in several long rallies before Gauff eventually proved too strong with a 6-4 6-0 victory, but the British number nine could be proud of her week’s work in SW19, which has pocketed her £143,000 in prize money and memories to last a lifetime.

Sonay Kartal hits a forehand
Sonay Kartal put in a battling display (John Walton/PA)

This was Kartal’s 12th grass-court match of a busy summer after she had to qualify to secure a third appearance in the main draw of Wimbledon, having battled with undisclosed health problems for much of the past year.

Gutsy three-set wins over Sorana Cirstea and Clara Burel secured a plum tie against Coco Gauff, which the Brighton right-hander hoped would be on Centre Court.

A late-night slot on Court One was a decent consolation prize but Kartal lost the first eight points on offer to be broken immediately.

No obvious nerves appeared on show from the 22-year-old though, who had admirably tried to keep up with Gauff’s powerful-hitting and duly did when the American sent her backhand long after a 15-shot rally to get Kartal on the scoreboard.

Big cheers greeted the hold and a 104mph ace helped secure another before the home favourite fashioned two break points in the seventh game.

Gauff sent down a double-fault to get the first set back on serve, but consecutive backhand winners by the world number two, the first after a successful challenge, was enough to earn her a break back.

Coco Gauff celebrates her victory
Coco Gauff celebrates her victory (Aaron Chown/PA)

The 39-minute opener was closed out with an ace and a wild forehand by Kartal gifted Gauff a break at the start of the second set.

It was largely one-way traffic after but Kartal delighted the crowd by saving three break points in the fifth game of the second set.

Second seed Gauff did eventually seal the break and an ace ended Kartal’s fine SW19 run before she exited Court One to rapturous applause.