Meet Cori Gauff: The Future of Tennis

 

Cori "Coco" Gauff has a bright future in tennis after her astonishing Wimbledon run - which saw her knock out five-times women's singles winner Venus Williams in straight sets. The 15-year-old American is the former world number one junior player and is now taking the adult circuit by storm.

She made her debut on the WTA Tour in March 2019 at the Miami Open, winning her opening match. Wimbledon was only her second major senior tournament. After receiving a wild card for the qualifying draw, Gauff became the youngest player in Wimbledon's history to qualify for the main draw.

 
 
 
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After defeating Venus Williams in the first round, she rose to instant fame, going on to make it through to the second week and the final 16, eventually losing to the number seven seed, Simona Halep, in straight sets. Currently number 313 in the women's world singles' ranking, the teenager has rocketed into the international spotlight.

Gauff's Wimbledon success has taught her a lot. She said she learned what it was like to play under pressure and in front of a large crowd. However, regardless of the pressure, it was also a lot of fun and she enjoyed being on the court, even when she was losing. She said she was thankful for the whole Wimbledon experience.

Prior to Wimbledon, she had been knocked out in the qualifying rounds of the French Open, so she said she was proud to have progressed so far at Wimbledon.

 

Early life

Gauff was born in March 2004 and began playing tennis at the age of six. The family lived in Atlanta until she was seven. Her father, Corey, played college basketball and became her tennis coach. Her mother, Candi, was a track and field athlete.

Encouraged by her sporty parents, as a youngster, Gauff tried out many different sports, including track and basketball, but at the age of four, she saw Serena Williams winning the Australian Open on TV and was inspired.

As well as admiring Venus and Serena Williams, Gauff has cited Althea Gibson as an inspiration too. In 1956, Gibson won the French Open, followed by Wimbledon and the US Open a year later.

 

Rise to fame

It soon became apparent that she was a tennis protégé and when Gauff was seven, the family moved to Delray Beach, Florida, to give her better opportunities in tennis. She trained at the New Generation Tennis Academy with Gerard Loglo. Her parents both gave up their careers to train their daughter.

Corey had been a health care executive and Candi was a teacher. Corey became her tennis coach and Candi home-educated her. The decision seemed to be paying off when Gauff won the national "Little Mo" championship for players aged eight-and-under organised by the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation.

 

From strength to strength

She was the youngest player in the tournament's history to win the USTA Clay Court National 12-and-under championship, at ten years and four months old, in July 2014, and as the former world number one junior, she was the girls' singles champion at the French Open.

In May 2018, she made her debut on the ITF Women's Circuit as a qualifier in the Osprey $25K event, where she beat Alexandra Perper in her first professional match.

 

Future goals

Progressing through Wimbledon has been the pinnacle of Gauff's career to date and she is delighted to have made it through to the second week. With what looks like being a bright career on the cards, she is looking forward to the US Open, which starts on Monday 26th August.

She says her next goal is to win the next tournament she plays. At the tender age of only 15, she realises she hasn't been able to fully develop her game yet, so she's excited to see what success she will have in the future if she continues to work hard.

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