Tennis-Kerber wins generation game to knock Gauff out at Wimbledon

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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) -Teenager Coco Gauff's Wimbledon hopes were dashed by Germany's former champion Angelique Kerber as she went down 6-4 6-4 in a Centre Court battle of the generations on Monday.

The 33-year-old Kerber showed all of her vast experience to keep Gauff at bay as she reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final since winning the title here in 2018.

Gauff, 17, had not lost a set in matching her run to the fourth round on a startling debut in 2019, but the American was given a lessen in clinical efficiency by the left-hander.

While there were flashes of brilliance from the 20th seed, she could not sustain her level as the forehand that can be her Achilles heel broke down all too regularly.

"I have to say Coco is such a great talented player," three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber said on court.

"She has such a great future in front of her. She will play here so many times and maybe one time she will get the title."

Kerber beat Serena Williams in the 2018 final but this time was up against a player widely predicted to take the baton from the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

And just as against Serena, she produced an intelligent display to wrong-foot a more powerful foe.

GUSTY WIND

A gusty wind made it difficult for both players early on as the first five games all went against serve, Gauff hitting a couple of 'air shots' in the opening exchanges.

But it was 25th seed Kerber who began to settle, restoring order to move 4-2 ahead when Gauff sprayed a forehand wide.

Kerber remained rock-solid with her accurate baseline game to take the opening set.

The German, who won her first title in three years last week in Bad Homburg, established an early break of serve in the second set as Gauff double-faulted and was uber-focused on her own service games as she edged towards victory.

Gauff tried to increase the aggression levels but Kerber showed great scrambling skills to maintain her lead and finished off her young opponent with just her second ace.

She will next play Czech 19th seed Karolina Muchova on Tuesday after she beat Spain's Paula Badosa.

"I think she's really a tricky opponent. She plays well on grass with her slice," Kerber said.

"I know it will be a tough battle out there."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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