Wild Card Shelby Rogers Upsets Top Seed Serena Williams, Coco Gauff Reaches Semis in Lexington Tennis Tourney
(August 14, 2020) On Friday, the 27-year-old , ranked 116th in the world, Shelby Rogers had the biggest win of her career, knocking out top seed and 23-time major champion Serena Williams 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) at the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. This was just the third Top 10 win of her career. Just six months ago, South Carolina’s Shelby Rogers didn’t know whether or not she’d be playing again on the WTA Tour. She was sidelined with major knee surgery.
“Six months after surgery, I didn’t think I was going to be able to play again, ever,” she said. “I’m pretty thankful to gain that perspective after going through that, and be grateful to be on the court competing again.”
The start of the match was delayed a few hours due to rain.
“It’s every kid’s dream when they’re growing up, watching her [Serena Williams] play, to be able to do something like that,” said Rogers. “Weird circumstances, weird setting, but a win is a win and I know we’re all just happy to be back playing.”
“I kind of made it difficult for myself by making a plethora of unforced errors,” Williams said of her play.
After a set where Williams dominated Rogers, Rogers talked about her focus. “I just tried to control what I could control, and that’s mostly my service games, and then if I had an opportunity, I tried to capitalize,”
“It was important for me going onto the court thinking I could win that match, and knowing I could take care of my service games,” Rogers said to media. “Because [Serena Williams] has probably the best serve of all time, and when she wants to, she can win a point on her serve.”
Rogers will face-off against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann in the semifinals.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) August 14, 2020
Sixteen-year-old American Coco Gauff overcame a crafty Ons Jabeur, from 6-4, 4-2 down to reach the final four in Lexington 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final singles match of the day.
“Staying positive really kept me in the match today,” Gauff said to media. “I’m always going to fight, try my best no matter the score.”
Gauff will play countrywoman, world No. 49 Jennifer Brady for place in the final. This is just the second semifinal of Gauff’s career.