Last Monday, Wimbledon provided us with a shock that still hasn’t sunk in: teenage sensation Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff stunned five-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams with a remarkable 6-4 6-4 victory, in a David versus Goliath story.
Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff – at a mere 15 years and 3 months – was the youngest player to qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since it began in 1968. In sharp contrast, fellow American Williams was the oldest player in the women’s bracket for this year. To put it further into context, Williams had won four Grand Slam titles (including two at Wimbledon) before Gauff was even born, and is considered her childhood hero.
Even Coco Gauff had to remind herself that “the lines are the same lines, the courts are the same size and after every point I told myself ‘stay calm’”.
Fast forward 48 hours later: Coco Gauff followed up with a comprehensive 6-3 6-3 victory over Magdalena Rybarikova. Not just a comfortable win, but one with such class: a coolness, confidence, and collectiveness that is beyond her years.
Gauff again recoiled in disbelief: “I’m still shocked that I’m even here”
Coco Gauff has now developed the mentality that she can beat any opponent that she comes up against: “If I don’t think I can win the match then I won’t even step on the court”. We still have to pinch ourselves that she is just 15: she still has GCSEs to come.
Roll on her next opponent, Polona Hercog, where Gauff also managed a win, before losing to Simona Halep on Monday. At such a young age, it’ll be exciting to see where her career will take her!