Teenagers to light up last Manic Monday

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·3-min read
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Wimbledon's last ever Manic Monday looks set to be a memorable one thanks to teenagers Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu.

Seventeen-year-old American Gauff's progress to the fourth round is no surprise, seeing that two years ago she made a sensational debut by reaching the same stage as a qualifier.

Her return as 20th seed has been impressive with three straight sets victories, setting up a clash of the generations against the 33-year-old 2018 champion Angelique Kerber.

No.25 seed Kerber of Germany is the only former champion remaining in the women's draw with only three of the top 12 in the WTA rankings to play on Monday.

Gauff has never played Kerber but the American teenager said that would not be a problem.

"I'm just so early in my career that pretty much everyone I play is a first-timer," she said.

The second Monday at Wimbledon is always one of the most eagerly-anticipated as it is unique amongst the slams with all the men's and women's fourth round singles taking place on the same day.

The decision from next year to scrap the middle Sunday rest day will mean the schedule will change - a decision that has not been universally popular with fans.

"I think I will miss it, to be honest," Kerber said of Manic Monday.

But the last one should at least be a bit special with the emergence of new home star Raducanu.

Like Gauff, 18-year-old wildcard and world No.338 Raducanu has not dropped a set and is the unlikely last British player standing in the singles draws.

She will be third match on No.1 Court against experienced Australian Ajla Tomljanovic when she will be guaranteed staunch home support.

"I'm just trying to stay here as long as possible. I'm just having such a blast," said Raducanu, the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon in the professional era.

Meanwhile, top seed Ash Barty will take on Czech Barbora Krejcikova in a battle between the 2019 and 2021 French Open champions.

Australia's world No.1 Barty has looked solid so far but will need to be tuned in against Krejcikova who is enjoying a stellar run, racking up 15 successive singles wins and winning the French title despite a reputation as a doubles specialist.

"I have played her plenty of times in the doubles court. Never on the singles court," Barty said.

"I'm looking forward to trying to figure out her game, kind of piece together the puzzle that she presents."

In other clashes, Poland's Iga Swiatek takes on Ons Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon after stunning Garbine Muguruza on Friday.

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka is up against Elena Rybakina and former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova plays Liudmila Samsonova.

Paula Badosa and Karolina Muchova go up against each other with Madison Keys and Viktorija Golubic completing the last 16 line-up.

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