Loco for Coco: the future of tennis

Andrew White writes about women's tennis most promising prospect, Coco Gauff.

Andrew White
10th February 2020
Before her 16th birthday, Coco Gauff has been labelled "the next Serena Williams". However, she is not the next Serena Williams, she is the first Coco Gauff.

The Rise

Born on the 13th March 2004, Cori "Coco" Gauff first rose to prominence following her exploits at Wimbledon 2019.

Gauff received a wild card into the qualifying draw at Wimbledon and upset the highest ranked player in the qualifiers Aliona Bolsova, en route to becoming the youngest ever player to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon.

Her first round opponent? Five time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.

Gauff had idoloised Venus Williams growing up and spoke highly of her opponent

‘I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her – I told her she was so inspiring and I’ve always wanted to tell her that but I’ve never had the guts to before. "

Gauff speaking of Williams after defeating her former idol.

Gauff defeated Williams in straight sets, showing maturity and grace beyond her years, sending the tennis world into shockwaves.

The tennis world had gone 'Loco for Coco' and the Gauff hype train was up and running.

Celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Michelle Obama, Billie Jean King and Ivanka Trump had all taken a keen eye on Gauff, sharing their support. Gauff went from being an unknown entity, to the future star of world tennis in less than a week.

Victories followed against Magdaléna Rybáriková and Polona Hercog, before the fairytale ended in the fourth round, losing to eventual champion Simona Halep in straight sets.

Post-Wimbledon: foundations for future success

By reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, Gauff pocketed herself £176,000. What does a 15 year old do with that money I hear you ask?

Well, according to Gauff, they spend it on a hoodie

"I mean, I can’t buy a car because I can’t drive,” she added. “I hate spending money, to be honest.”

“My mom, she bans me from buying hoodies for two months,” Gauff added.

“Every week I was getting new hoodies sent to the house. I don’t know, I like wearing them because at home you can’t wear them because it’s so hot.

This modesty is what has served Gauff well in her career so far, she isn't getting ahead of herself.

Since Wimbledon, Gauff reached the third round at the US Open, before losing to World no1 Naomi Osaka.

At the Linz Open, Gauff became the younest WTA player to win a singles tournament since 2004. A star is born.

Gauff has still produced consistent success despite becoming a star overnight.

Australian Open: Dizzying Heights

In the recent Australian open, Gauff managed to equal her incredible Wimbledon success.

The fairytale had a familiar beggining, a straight sets victory over Venus Williams.

Gauff's success over Williams is incredible when you consider Williams had already won Wimbledon twice before Coco was even born.

In the third round, she defeated Naiomi Osaka, the defending champion of the Australian open. Becoming, the youngest player to defeat a top 5 player at a Grand Slam since Jennifer Crapati at the 1991 US Open.

In the fourth round, she lost to the eventual champion, Sofia Kenin, in three sets.

Her dream of winning the Austrlian open at the first attempt is over, but her career is just begginning.

Gauff's success at the Australian Open should no longer come as a surprise, she is continously building momentum and dealing with increased expectations at every tournament she plays.

Sit back, and watch the greatness unfold before your eyes.

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