Several times this week I have heard utterances to the effect of; ‘what about that 15-year-old who beat Venus Williams?’ There was true astonishment across the nation last Monday when Corey ‘Coco’ Gauff defeated the tennis titan. She experienced repeat success on Wednesday evening, defeating Magdalena Rybáriková, sailing through to the third round. As she prepares to face Polona Hercog later on today, we thought we’d investigate just who exactly this tremendous teen is.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia to a basketball player father and gymnast mother, young Coco has been hitting the courts since the age of 7. At 13 she was the youngest girl to make a US Open Girls Final and last year she went on to win the Junior French Open.
With success already under her belt, it seems as though Coco Gauff has been a familiar name amongst the US tennis community for some time now. However, it was just last Monday where she reigned supreme against Venus, that the world recognised this ambitious champ in the making. Tennis legend, John McEnroe, stated ‘If she’s not number one in the world by 20, I will be absolutely shocked.’
Despite her recent rise to fame, Gauff has clearly already captured the hearts of tennis fans. During her match against Rybáriková, she appeared to have overwhelming support from the crowds, occasionally knocking the Slovakian off her game.
What is perhaps most striking about Gauff, is the confidence that she maintains throughout her performances. There is no uncertainty, no hesitation – just pure focus and attention. When questioned if it makes a difference who is on the other side of the net, her response was: ‘not at all. I think I can beat anyone and if I don’t think I can win the match, then I wont even step on the court.’
No doubt, we all will be on the edge of our seats today, hopeful that Coco will put up another fierce performance. When a young prodigy steps on the scene in any scenario, a curiosity is often stirred within us to see just how far they can go. I sense that curiosity simmering amongst all Wimbledon watchers this week. Question is, how long will this curiosity linger? Does young Coco have what it takes to make it all the way to the final? Watch this space!
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