Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, the 15-year-old American tennis player, took centre stage at the Wimbledon opening day. The youngest player to qualify the tennis’ oldest grand slam, defeated and knocked out the former champ (and her idol) Venus Williams.
Fun fact: Cori had given a science exam just five days before the match!
It was surely a battle of youth versus experience. By the year Cori was born, Venus Williams had already won four grand slam singles titles. Cori's emotions and expressions took over the internet as she sent the tennis world into a massive shock. But, who is this wonder kid? Here’s everything you need to know about the teenager.
Cori Gauff became the youngest player who qualified for the Wimbledon main draw since the Open began in 1968. Born in Atlanta in 2004, she started playing tennis at the age of seven.
Cori comes from a family of athletes and decided to move to Florida to pursue the game seriously. While her father Corey played basketball at Georgia State University, her mother Candi was a gymnast before becoming a track and field athlete at Florida State University.
In May 2018, Cori made her debut at the International Tennis Federation as a qualifier at Osprey, Florida and won her first professional match. In 2018, a mere two months after her 14th birthday, she won her first Junior Grand Slam Title at the French Open. At this point it was clear, she was born to be a winner!
Coached by her father, Cori idolised the William sisters, especially Serena. Her ranking was 301 and qualifying Wimbledon was a far-fetched dream. However, she made it to Wimbledon with the help of a wildcard entry. Before making it to the main draw, she played three qualifying rounds, the last of which she beat world number 154 and the 19th seed, Greet Minnen.
Hence, began her journey of knocking out her opponent and winning against a tennis legend, 24 years her senior. In her Grand Slam singles debut, Cori took on Venus Williams in the first round and beat her by 6-4 6-4.