American tennis phenom Coco Gauff has been riding high during Wimbledon, defeating Venus Williams and Magdalena Rybarikova in her first two matches at her first Grand Slam tournament.
But the 15-year-old Gauff has found herself in the middle of some controversy outside of her singles run.
British tennis star Harriet Dart and her mixed doubles partner Jay Clarke abruptly split at the last minute Thursday. Clarke left Dart to play with the 15-year-old Gauff and left his ex-partner without enough time to find a replacement and thus knocking her out of the tournament.
Dart told The Daily Mail she found out Clarke was ditching her over text message.
“Essentially due to the timing I wasn’t able to find another partner in the time period available,” she told the British tabloid. “I did ask a number of people but a lot of them were set up and that’s it.”
Clarke told The Daily Mail he felt bad ditching Dart for Gauff, but did not want to pass up the opportunity to play with the upstart American.
“I’ve known Cori for a few years now, we got in contact and she asked me to play,” Clarke said. “That was tough. … I think it’s the worst decision I have had to make especially mid-tournament. … Hopefully she understands why I did it. I’m sorry for her it happened.”
The first round of mixed doubles begins Friday. Clarke and Gauff play Robert Lindstedt and Jelena Ostapenko.