Age is nothing but a number for American tennis player Cori “Coco” Gauff. Gauff, 15, is the youngest player ever to qualify for Wimbledon. She qualified even with her 313th world ranking. In her first round matchup, she faced one of the sports most recognizable stars: Venus Williams. Gauff, who was raised in Florida, grew up idolizing Williams. She even called Venus her hero. However, at the end of the match, it was Williams and the rest of the tennis world admiring Gauff after she pulled off the stunning first-round upset. The 6-4, 6-4 win makes Gauff the youngest player ever to win a match at Wimbledon.
15-year-old prodigy Coco Gauff beat one of her idols, Venus Williams, in straight sets at Wimbledon today
After the match, she was overcome with emotion and thanked Venus for inspiring her ✊
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 1, 2019
Facing Her Hero
People dream of one day meeting their heroes. For Gauff, she couldn’t have dreamed of facing her hero on the game’s biggest stage. Gauff called the matchup her “dream draw.”
Even with all the emotion of playing Venus Williams at Wimbledon, Gauff didn’t focus on her opponent.
With all the fanfare, Gauff was able to lock in and approach the match with a calmness that served her well. She had 10 winners in the first set with only two unforced errors. Venus made things interesting in the second set, making it 4-all. Gauff didn’t crack and sent two forehanded shots to Venus, who couldn’t respond.
Gauff’s first-round performance garnered high praise from Venus.
Even though school is not in session for many teenagers, Gauff said her performance deserves a higher grade than the one she got on her science test.
That Winning Feeling
When the match ended, Gauff was clearly emotional. After dropping her racket, she put her hands on her head, seemingly shocked at her accomplishment.
After briefly basking in the moment of victory, she went over to the net to meet her opponent and hero.
She then made her way to her chair, sat down and prayed as she cried.
The next test for the teenage phenom is a second-round match with Magdalena Rybarikova from Slovakia. The match starts Wednesday at 5:00 a.m. Eastern from London.