The 15-year-old American became the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon in the Open era last week, but on Friday she showed poise well beyond her years as she came back to beat the world No. 60 on Centre Court at the All England Club.
Hercog won the first set 6–3 and appeared to be on her way to victory after Gauff dropped serve early in the second set. But trailing 2–5, Gauff looked unflappable, holding serve before breaking Hercog and ultimately sending second set to a tiebreaker, which Gauff won 9–7. She saved two match points in the second set.
That sent the match to a decider, with Gauff earning an early break in the set’s fourth game, but Hercog broke back in the seventh game.
Both players held serve until the 12th game of the set, with Gauff fighting off a game point and breaking Hercog to win the match.