Cori Gauff served up the perfect excuse for skipping school on Monday as the 15-year-old US student caused one of the biggest shocks in Wimbledon history by jettisoning her idol Venus Williams in the first round.

The 39-year-old Williams is considered Wimbledon royalty as she has been part of the All England Club family for over two decades – having won the singles title five times – including twice before Gauff was even born.

But her opponent, the youngest player to qualify for the main draw in the professional era, was in no mood to play lady-in-waiting as she made a mockery of the 24-year age difference and 269 ranking places that separate her from Williams.

Playing a fearless brand of tennis that belied her age, she bullied Williams into submission with a showstopping 6-4, 6-4 display that will long live in the memory.