WIMBLEDON, England — Serena Williams scored a quick, tidy third-round victory Saturday, leaving plenty of time in her post-match interview to discuss playing mixed doubles with Andy Murray — seemingly all that Britain cares about — and the stunning success of 15-year-old American Cori “Coco” Gauff.
Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon singles champion, defeated Julia Goerges of Germany, 6-3, 6-4, never losing serve, a virtual repeat of her victory over Goerges in last year’s semifinal, where the score was 6-2, 6-4.
In the first match of the day on Court One, Williams, the No. 11 seed, pushed her record over Goerges, seeded 18th, to 5-0. “I just need to keep it up,” Williams said. “Each match for me really counts. I haven’t had a tremendous amount.”
Only 17 for the year, including three the first week of this Wimbledon. That is the reason Williams chose to join Murray, who in 2013 became the first Brit in 77 years to win the men’s singles of the All-England Championships.
The biggest story in the women's half of the tournament is Gauff, who has advanced to the second week and will play Simona Halep in the Round of 16 on Monday. And since Williams, now 37, became a professional at 14, she was asked what advice she might offer to Gauff.
“I think she’s doing everything great,” Williams said. “Big fan, actually. I am so excited for her. Love her family. Gosh, I couldn’t feel more proud. It would be wrong to step in right now and give her advice. I think she’s doing great.”
In the opening round, Gauff defeated five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams who said of Gauff’s future, “I think the sky’s the limit.”
Gauff, from Florida, is the youngest player in this year's tournament.
Serena Williams was asked whether a player of Gauff’s age, man or woman, could win Wimbledon. Serena’s first victory here came in 2002, some two months before her 21st birthday.
“It depends,” Williams said. “I think there’s some 15-year-olds like me, who wouldn’t know what to do at Wimbledon. Then you have a 15-year-old like Coco. She knows what to do.
“I think she’s on a different level, so I think she’s totally capable and ready, to be honest. Yeah, I think it depends. Not every 15-year-old is the same.”
Perhaps no one has been the same as Williams, who although needing one more win to equal the all-time Grand Slam mark of 24 victories, held by Margaret Court, is acknowledged by most to be the finest women’s player ever.
Still, nothing seems as important to the British media as Williams agreeing to play mixed doubles with Murray, who since returning from a second hip surgery in January has been limited only to doubles.
Murray and Williams looked good during the 6-4, 6-1 win against Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi, with Williams smacking one serve at 122 mph, equaling the fastest hit in singles by any woman (her, naturally) during the tournament.
“Andy and I both love the competition. I know we both want to do well,” Williams said. “We’re not here just for show.”