Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis player who burst onto the professional scene with a stunning victory over Venus Williams last week, is leaving Wimbledon with a loss in straight sets
At 15, Cori Gauff made Wimbledon history before she even stepped on the court. The American teenager is the youngest ever player to qualify for the British tournament and beat one of her heroes, Venus Williams, on her first day. Cori made her mark in the competition when she won against Venus Williams 6-4 6-4.
Who is Cori Gauff?
Atlanta-born Cori Gauff is an American junior tennis player and prodigy in the sport.
She is the youngest ever finalist to have made the girls’ singles event at the US Open, and the youngest ever player at Wimbledon.
Cori won the junior French Open title in 2018 at just 14, her agent is part of Roger Federer’s management group.
According to Forbes, the teenage star is predicted to earn more than $1m (£790,000) off the court in 2019 thanks to a burgeoning group of sponsors.
At 39, Venus is the oldest female player in the women’s singles draw and has five Wimbledon titles under her belt.
Gauff is still in high school and took a science test the day before the finals of the qualifying tournament.
While she was born in Atlanta she has been raised in Florida.
In an interview Cori said “I have nothing to lose, playing against one of the greatest players of all time,” she said.
“I’m just super honoured that I get to share the court with her. Not many people get to play Wimbledon at 15 so I’m just happy that I’m one of them.”
Following her first day Wimbledon victory, a stunned Cori said “Honestly I don’t really know how to feel. That’s the first time I have ever cried after winning a match.
“I don’t even know how to explain how I feel.
“I had to tell myself to stay calm, I have never played on such a big court. I had to remind myself of the lines on the court. Everything around it might be bigger, but the lines are the same.
“She just told me congratulations and to keep going and good luck.
“I told her thank you for everything. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her, she is so inspiring and I always wanted to tell her that, even though I met her before I didn’t have the guts to tell her then.
“I know my parents are super happy, my dad was jumping up every time I won a point.
“I am literally living my dream right now and not many people get to say that.”
Gauff, nicknamed Coco, broke her fellow American in the fifth game and then held to love with the cheekiest of backhand drop shots before closing out the set 6-4 with a punch and a roar.
Back-to-back double faults in the fifth game of the second set by Williams saw her broken to love.
The veteran broke back for 4-4 but Gauff took the next game against the serve and then dramatically held at the fourth time of asking to send the crowd wild.
Meanwhile Cori “Coco” Gauff, lost in her fourth Wimbledon match on Monday, succumbing to No. 7 seed Simona Halep in straight sets, 6-3 6-3.
In the hard-fought match, Gauff struggled at the offset, losing the first set. And despite gaining back some ground, Gauff could not pull out a win against Romania’s Halep. She struggled with stomach issues during the game, according to statements made during her post-game press conference. WTA Tennis reported that Halep won 70% of the points at the net.
“I learned a lot and I’m really thankful for this experience,” Gauff said during her press conference after the loss. “I think I just need to go back to work, and keep working hard, and get ready for my next couple tournaments.”
In the third round on Saturday, Gauff defeated Polona Hercog in three sets that solidified her standing as a “player to watch” in the tennis world to reach the Grand Slam tournament’s fourth round. She beat Magdaléna Rybáriková in straight sets, 6-3 6-3, last Wednesday. She also defeated Venus Williams, the No. 44 player in the world in straight sets, 6-4 6-4, last Monday, which made her the youngest woman to win a Wimbledon match since 1991. Gauff also became the youngest woman to qualify at Wimbledon.
Despite her loss, Gauff has garnered a lot of enthusiastic support.
Serena Williams has said that she thinks Gauff is “definitely on a different level” and called her “totally capable and ready.”
Chris Evert, 18-time Grand Slam singles champ, told the New York Times, “No matter how she does the rest of the way, she’s already won our hearts.”
Even Michelle Obama tweeted, “Coco is terrific!” after she came back to defeat Hercog last week.
What’s next for Cori “Coco” Gauff?
At just 15-years-old, Gauff has a long road ahead of her.
“I’m still 15 and, like, my game isn’t nearly as good as I want it to be,” Gauff said during her press conference. She hopes to play in the US Open and other upcoming tournaments.