MEET COCO GAUFF: 15 YEAR OLD TENNIS EXTRAORDINAIRE
"THE YOUNGEST FINALIST IN US OPEN HISTORY" - You may have heard of her: 15 year old Coco Gauff, the former world No.1 Junior, who turned everyone's heads this year in her match against Venus Williams. Here we look at who she is and how she became the triumph she is today, battling the greats and growing even stronger each match.
"THE YOUNGEST FINALIST IN US OPEN HISTORY"
Gauff began playing tennis at age six, her parents encouraged her to pursue many different sports. At age eight, Gauff began working with Gerard Loglo at the New Generation Tennis Academy. Her parents saw the determination in their daughter and decided to devote their lives to her training. They gave up their careers and learned the sport so that they could coach and home school her. After winning the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation's "Little Mo" eight-and-under nationals in December 2012, Gauff decided she wanted to pursue a lifelong career in tennis.
"I'll always remember the first time I saw Coco..."
At age ten, Gauff began to train at the Mouratoglou Academy, run by Serena Williams's coach Patrick Mouratoglou. He commented, "I'll always remember the first time I saw Coco. She came over to the Mouratoglou Academy in 2014 to try out and she impressed me with her determination, athleticism and fighting spirit... When she looks at you and tells you she will be number one you can only believe it." He helped sponsor Gauff through his Champ'Seed foundation, which he had created to provide funding for junior tennis players who lacked the financial resources for high-level training. In July 2014, Gauff won the USTA Clay Court National 12-and-under title; she was the youngest champion in the tournament's history aged 10 years old. Later on, 2018 was the kick start of her professional career.
When she looks at you and tells you she will be number one you can only believe it.
She went on to defeat Venus Williams in straight sets
She made her debut on the ITF Women's Circuit in May 2018 as a qualifier in the $25K event at Osprey, where she won her first professional match, against Alexandra Perper. Gauff received a wild card into qualifying at the US Open, she played in the Miami open and the $100K Midland Tennis Classic. 2019 was her big break. After losing in the second round of qualifying at the French Open, Gauff qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon where she went on to defeat Venus Williams in straight sets, Magdaléna Rybáriková and Polona Hercog too. People rooted for her, for a lot of them it was the first time they had ever even heard her name.
Gauff qualified into main draw of the singles in Washington but lost in
the first round to Zarina Diyas. She was more
successful in the doubles, where
she and Caty McNally reached the
final and won.
Most recently she participated at the 2019 U.S. Open, Gauff was given a wild-card spot in the main draw. In the first round she defeated 18-year-old Russian Anastasia Potapova in three sets. The match was played at night in Louis Armstrong Stadium. She would continue her run at the US Open by defeating Tímea Babos in three sets, setting up a third round encounter with world No. 1, and defending champion Naomi Osaka. She may have lost but Osaka was compassionate and acknowledged her tennis rival’s young age. The two hugged and she invited the teen to talk during the post-match interview. It’s great to see such good sportsmanship.
Gauff's story is one full of hard work, determination and sacrifices, it shows that anything is possible at any age if you stay focused!