There was a time – rather recently –where Coco Vandeweghe taking out Genie Bouchard would have been considered a considerable upset.
But times have changed and today’s, 6-4 3-6 7-5 win over the Canadian champion is more a walk in the park than a highlight of a career.
“This one isn’t that high for me,” Vandeweghe said. “It was kind of expected, in my mind, to get the win and to get the victory and to move a step closer to achieving what I want to achieve for this year and also this tournament.”
It’s just another step in the upward trajectory for the 25 year-old granddaughter and niece of former Knicks Ernie and Kiki Vandeweghe, respectively. After starting her career slowly, she came on the last few years, winning some tournaments and moving up in the rankings.
She ended the year ranked 36th in the world and now has the goal to break into the top 20.
Wins like this one will put her on that path.
“I think right now,” she said, “last two, three years I have been riding such good confidence from playing from the back of the court as well as having more confidence in my returns from playing more doubles that it’s not such a hit-or-miss for me.”
Maybe that’s the reason. Because she was not the greatest singles player, earlier in her career, Vandeweghe played a lot of doubles and even made two mixed finals last year in Melbourne and Flushing Meadows.
She even had Martina Hingis in her box today, who is her women’s doubles partner this year at Melbourne Park.
“I mean, it’s beneficial to have anyone behind you cheering you on,” Vandeweghe said “I think she is very invested in my results, because obviously I’m going to be happier when I go on the doubles court if I’m winning rather than losing.
“But also, I mean, she’s a great person in that regard, too, where she will take the time out of her own day. She has no reason to be out there besides that she wants to be out there and wants to see me do well.”
So maybe Vandeweghe will match her Wimbledon results from 2015 when she made the quarterfinals. Just one match remains for that goal.
However, she will be playing No. 1 seed and defending champion Angelique Kerber, who cruised into the Round of 16 by downing Kristyna Pliskova, 6-0 6-4.
“It’s going to be nice,” Vandeweghe said “I have only played her one time before at Stanford a few years back. But, yeah. It’s going to be fun and interesting.”
And certainly a challenge that Vandeweghe is definitely up for.