What were you doing at 15? Your answer would probably be anything but “qualifying to play against Venus Williams, someone 23 years my senior, at the first round of Wimbledon”. Cori Gauff is currently ranked as the world number 301, and she is right now the youngest player to qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since 1968, having come through three matches in qualifying without losing a set.
She didn’t just stop there — she made history by beating the veteran and wowing the world by doing so.
She received a wildcard to get into qualifying and faced Venus Williams, a player 24 years older than her and was winning Grand Slam titles when she wasn’t even born.
“I found out last minute,” she said. “I wasn’t even packed to come here so it’s just crazy how life can turn around in a second,” she was quoted as saying.
Venus Williams, who is one of Coco’s biggest idols, was beaten 6-4 6-4 in their first-round clash at the All England Club on 2 July 2019. Gauff won the first set in 35 minutes and held three match points in the second then Venus held break point. Gauff then made the most of her fourth match point to win in one hour 19 minutes on Wimbledon’s No.1 Court.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) 1 July 2019
If you want to know more about her, this Guardian article says that the tennis youth was born to athletic and sports royalty: Her father, Corey, played basketball at Georgia State University and her mother, Candi, ran track at Florida State University. Cori started playing tennis at six and in Occtober 2018 she signed her first multi-year sponsorship contract with New Balance.
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She is so badass and such an inspiration!
Here’s to more powerful young women in sports on the global stage!