The tennis prodigy marches on. After beating her idol Venus Williams to announce herself to Wimbledon, the 15-year-old Cori "Coco" Gauff did something no one of her age has done in a generation: she reached the third round.
But mere progress does not do justice to her excellence. What she did with a victory over the seasoned Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova was demonstrate her win over Williams was no aberration. What we were seeing at the All England Club was the future.
Gauff is loving being here. That much had been obvious on the practice courts when she had been visibly star struck at finding herself playing alongside Roger Federer. She may be managed by his company, but this was the first time she had met him — and she could not conceal her delight at his words of encouragement.
But there was hint at her sudden change of status since that Monday victory over Williams as she left the courts. Two days ago she would have done so unnoticed. Now she was obliged to stop for selfies and autographs. And the applause that greeted her as she walked out on to a No1 court with the roof shut and the lights on was sizeable. A star has been born.
Her name, incidentally, is pronounced Goff, as in Darren Gough. Though the light-footed speed she moves around court immediately refutes any suggestion she might be related to the former England cricketer. Just to see her run with such grace across the grass was enough to make the most hardened cynic smile.
Here it was Rybarikova's misfortune to be cast as the spoil sport standing in the way of the fantasy. The Slovak generally does well at Wimbledon — she was a semi-finalist two years ago.
She has a fine serve and a nice backhand from the baseline. But Gauff did not so much see her off as swat her aside 6-3, 6-3. Having waited all day to play, the youngster was not hanging around once she finally made it on court.
Breaking her opponent in the sixth game, she barely relented, wrapping up the first set within half an hour.
With grade exams to be sat on her return to the US, her father, Corey, insists tennis takes second place to her education. But if she tackles exam papers with the same aplomb she sends a double-handed backhand down the line, she has little to fear from her studies.
Never mind the exams she is about to sit, one shot when she galloped to the net and sent a forehand fizzing into the vacant court out of Rybarikova's reach was worthy of a PhD.
Watching her is to witness poise and balance close to perfection.
When she did an impromptu splits after slipping on the baseline, there was no self-pity; she stood straight up, letting nothing detain her. We can only assume bookmakers have already closed the book on her one day winning the title here; they tend not to pay out on certainty.
And how the crowd loved her. There is nothing the Wimbledon regulars like better than watching history in the making. Good history at that: the only way to greet some of her shots was to chuckle at their audacity. Not that Rybarikova was laughing. There can't be much pleasure in losing to someone reckoned still a bit callow to be a contender in the junior competition.
Watched by Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams' coach, who, like everyone in attendance, was nodding on in appreciation, she broke in the second game of the second set. And she has the temperament.
The very idea of cracking or crumbling under pressure seems entirely anathema. When Rybarikova pulled back to 30-all on one of her service games, she responded with a spitting ace right to the corner of the court.
Gauff then won the game with a fiery forehand winner, which she celebrated with a guttural roar of "c'mon" directed at her family in the crowd. And when Rybarikova thought she had produced a scorcher of her own with a hammered forehand smash in the fifth game of the second set, she merely sent it back past her for yet another winner.
Rybarikova played some pretty sharp tennis herself. One precision lob at the net was a thing of beauty. But standing up to history is a thankless task.
As she discovered in the ninth game of the second set when, after looking as if she might comfortably hold her serve, she found herself facing a whirlwind.
Gauff broke yet again to win within 80 minutes.
After brief celebratory bounces, she strode to the dressing room. She has more work to do.
- Telegraph Group Ltd