Zhang Shuai of China returns a shot during the women's singles first round match against Caroline Garcia of France at the 2019 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Britain, July 1, 2019. (HAN YAN / XINHUA)
LONDON - Chinese tennis player Zhang Shuai reached the third round of the women's singles at Wimbledon on Wednesday, along with men's No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic.
Elsewhere, 15-year-old Cori Gauff, who saw off Venus Williams in the first round, continued her fairytale journey here, defeating Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia to secure a spot in the last 32.
30-year-old Zhang defeated Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-3, 6-2, in doing so completing a personal milestone of reaching the last 32 at all four Grand Slams. Besides Zhang, Li Na, Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai are the only other Chinese players to have achieved this feat.
I was not good at playing on grass, but it's amazing that I have played my best two games of the year here
"I was not good at playing on grass, but it's amazing that I have played my best two games of the year here," said Zhang. "I think I am making progress, even though I am a 30-year-old veteran!"
Talking about her breakthrough, Zhang said she was surprised by her own performance.
"It was funny. When I was warming up before this match, (Samantha) Stosur told me I did a great job winning the first round, I said, 'I still wonder who played that match? Was it really me?'" Zhang said.
Zhang defeated 23rd seed Caroline Garcia of France on Monday in the competition's first round.
"I guess every time you do an excellent job in a match, you must be so focused that you even forget yourself," Zhang continued.
"Our team set the goal of winning a Grand Slam," Zhang added.
Zhang will meet former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the third round.
Top men's seed Djokovic hit 13 aces and 37 winners against Denis Kudla of the United States, winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
"I'm pleased with my game overall. There were some moments in the match where maybe I could have done better," said the Serbian.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a practice session ahead of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 30, 2019. (BEN CURTIS / AP PHOTO)
"But overall, a solid performance. I was returning well, I was serving mostly well. I'm really glad to overcome the challenge," Djokovic added.
After stunning five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round, American teenager Gauff extended her stay at the All England Club by beating former Wimbledon semifinalist Rybarikova 6-3, 6-3.
The 15-year-old is the youngest player to reach the third round at SW19 since the beginning of tennis' open era in 1968. Under the intense gaze of the tennis world, Gauff never faced a break point and had only ten unforced errors compared to 24 for her opponent.
Discussing her goal at the All England Club earlier in the week, Gauff said that she could beat anyone and that her aim was to win the title. The teenager faces Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the next round.
United States' Cori Gauff gestures to photographers during a practice session ahead of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 30, 2019. (BEN CURTIS / AP PHOTO)
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