LONDON, Great Britain - The fairytale Wimbledon run for 15-year-old American Coco Gauff was ended in straight sets by No.7 seed Simona Halep in the round of 16 on Monday, 6-3, 6-3.
The former World No.1 and French Open champion broke serve six times across 74 minutes, as her quality shown through against the American debutant, who did well to hang in early in the match.
"I think it was a great match. She has potential to be a very good player soon," said Halep.
"12 years ago I was at juniors. It's a huge thing that she's able to play in the fourth round of Wimbledon. It's a great performance. I think if she keeps going, she will be Top 10 soon."
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 8, 2019
After losing serve in the first game, Gauff broke immediately and held serve to lead 2-1, and held two more break points against the Romanian for a third consecutive game the next time Halep served.
However, the former World No.1 held on, and broke the teenager in the next game to ultimately take a lead she hardly relinquished in the match.
After losing serve to trail 2-0 in the second, Gauff again broke Halep and held to level at 2-2, but surrendered serve for the final time in a key sixth game.
"I think she has a very strong backhand. Also, the serve is pretty tough. She's moving very well. She's tall, so is not easy to move that fast," Halep assessed.
"She will be a very tough opponent for everybody. If she keeps doing what she did here, she's going to get a lot of confidence and she can win big tournaments soon.
"I think it's a good thing, a positive thing, for the tennis because the juniors can see that everything is possible. They can get motivated. They get confident there is a chance for everybody. What she's doing, she's doing great."
Halep played a clean match, as she hit 17 winners to 14 unforced errors, and won 70 percent of the points when she came to net, as Gauff's 15 winners were unable to overcome her 28 unforced.
The American did not go down without a fight, however, as she saved two match points on serve in the eighth game of the second set, but was unable to pull off a second consecutive comeback to keep her fortnight alive.
Added Halep: "Someone told me today this is the fact that I have to see I'm getting older, that I'm playing with juniors more and more. If I keep playing about three more years, I will have non-stop matches like this. So I'm getting used to it.
"I try to motivate myself to show myself that I'm still there, I'm still strong to beat these opponents, even if they play without fear, without emotions. They have nothing to lose, of course. It's a nice challenge, honestly."