Gauff, 15, stuns Venus in Australian Open first round

MELBOURNE, Australia – Fifteen-year-old American Coco Gauff beat Venus Williams at the Australian Open on Monday, January 20 – the second time the teenager has dumped the veteran out in a Grand Slam first round.

Gauff surged into the second round in Melbourne with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 victory over the 39-year-old and will play unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea next.

She similarly defeated the seven-time Grand Slam winner in the first round last year at Wimbledon.

"That was really difficult, she played really well," said the precocious teenager, who is ranked No. 67 in the world and a fast-rising star in tennis.

"I was really nervous for today's match."

"I was a bit shocked – I'm sure everyone was shocked – when they saw the draw come out but I'm glad I was able to get through it," Gauff added, referring to the repeat of their Wimbledon match.

Williams, formerly No. 1 but now ranked 55th, conceded the first-set tie break when she hit a routine backhand overhead into the net.

Gauff, remarkably unfazed by playing someone more than twice her age, held her nerve in the following set to claim Williams' scalp once more.

Victory over Williams at Wimbledon and her run to the fourth round there – where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep – propelled Gauff into the sporting limelight.

She went on to win her first WTA title in October in Linz, Austria. –