Cori “Coco” Gauff, 15, is the youngest player to win a main draw Wimbledon match since 1991
By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from Wimbledon.com | Art by Tricia Guevara
Cori “Coco” Gauff, a 15-year-old American, just stunned the tennis world after beating five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of Wimbledon. The rising tennis star is the youngest player to qualify for a Grand Slam main draw and win a match since Jennifer Capriati defeated Martina Navratilova in 1991. She couldn’t ask for a more impressive way to break into the professional ranks by taking down one of her idols.
When Williams won her first four grand slams, Gauff wasn’t even alive. A decade and five years later, the teenager walked into the opening day of Wimbledon ranked 313 in the world before introducing herself as a future superstar in the making. Here are five facts about the young tennis phenom:
Coco has been playing tennis since she was seven
Gauff grew up in an athletic family. He father Corey Gauff was a basketball player at Georgia State University while her mother was a track and field athlete at Florida State University. Corey was Coco’s first ever tennis coach and pushed her to get into the sport as early as seven.
Coco idolized the Williams Sisters growing up
The reason why Gauff picked up a tennis racket was because of the Williams Sisters. Her parents made sure that she followed in the footsteps of Venus and Serena. Following her Wimbledon victory against Venus, Gauff made sure to tell her idol that she wouldn’t have been in this position if it weren’t for her and her sister.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 1, 2019
Coco has been a rising tennis star since she was 13
Aside from winning the junior French Open girls’ title last year at 14—only second to Martina Hingis who won the same junior title at 12—Gauff has been slaying the courts since she was 13 when she reached the US Open girls singles final and. On her road to the Wimbledon main draw, she knocked out top seed Aliona Bolsova, 6-3, 6-4, to record her first Top 100 win.
Age is just a number.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 25, 2019
The Gauffs moved from Georgia to Florida to prioritize Coco’s tennis career
Coco Gauff grew up in Atlanta but moved to Delray Beach, Florida in order to capitalize on better opportunities. She trained under Gerard Loglo in his tennis academy and is also home schooled by her mom Candi.
Coco is already worth $1 million in endorsements
According to Forbes, Gauff is going be earning a million dollars this year from three endorsements alone. In 2018, she signed a multi-year deal with New Balance. She also recently signed with Barilla pasta company, which also sponsors Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer. All these sponsorship deals were secured when Gauff has yet to win a single WTA level match.
Most 15-year-old girls spend their teenage years in high school and their summer days at the beach or in the mall. Gauff is not your ordinary teen. She didn’t just win against one of the most accomplished tennis players in history but also dominated her way through the Wimbledon qualifying draw. She has indeed marked her name as the future of women’s tennis.
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