Immediately after 15 year-old American tennis sensation Coco Gauff made tennis headlines on Monday for shocking seven-time grand slam singles champion Venus Williams, there was speculation that Gauff had the tools to be America’s next superstar in women’s tennis. Well, not even the most knowledgeable tennis experts in the world could have expected that Gauff could back up her impressive first round win, with two more victories and advance to the round of 16 at Wimbledon on Monday.
However that is the position this remarkable teenager from Delray Beach, FL finds herself in. On Wednesday in round two, Gauff shocked the 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3, and then on Friday, came through with an impressive and gritty three set win over Polona Hercog of Slovenia, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 in round three.
On Friday, Gauff found a different way to land in the winner’s circle which helped her generate even more global tennis fans. She showed a characteristic of never giving up. During the match Hercog had two match points, but could not put Gauff away at either time.
Gauff is showing an absolute amount of maturity beyond her years. She is handling every single interview extremely well, and as she advances to the next round, more will be aware of Gauff’s skill set, and call her by Coco, rather than her biological first name of Cori.
At Wimbledon in 2019 according to CNN, Gauff has become the youngest woman to win a match at Wimbledon since 15 year-old Jennifer Capriati of New York, NY reached the semifinals in 1991. Interestingly, Capriati was only 14 years old when she reached the semifinals of the French Open in 1990.
In Capriati’s magical run at Wimbledon 28 years ago, she was seeded ninth. Her most impressive win on the way to the final four was a 6-4, 7-5 win over the great Martina Navratilova in the quarterfinals. Capriati then reached the semifinals of the 1991 U.S. Open as well.
However one must realize that Capriati was seeded at Wimbledon in 1991. Gauff, who was only 16 days older than Capriati in 2019 than when Capriati was in 1991, was unseeded and was only given a wildcard spot in an attempt to qualify for the third major of the year. Gauff had no problem reaching the 2019 Wimbledon women’s draw after easily beating Aliona Bolsova of Spain, Valentina Ivakhnenko of Russia and Greet Minnen of Belgium. Gauff’s win over Bolsova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 was also noteworthy because Bolsova was ranked first among all female players in qualifying.
It is time for tennis fans to celebrate Gauff’s success now. Heading into her fourth round match against 2018 French Open champion Simona Halep of Romania, Gauff is not only the tennis superstar of the future, but the tennis superstar of today.