7 Things To Know About Coco Gauff, The Next Big Name In Tennis

Photo: Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images.
Cori "Coco" Gauff is tennis' new “it girl.” The 15-year-old athlete has been playing since she was six years old, but she's hit her stride this summer. After beating her long-time hero Venus Williams at Wimbledon, she landed a Teen Vogue digital cover story. This week, she’ll participate in her first senior U.S. Open in Queens, New York. She’s crushing it, and has landed endorsement deals with big names like New Balance.
She’s the sports star everyone’s talking about — here are a seven things you should know about her. 

She beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon 

She cried after beating her idol Williams at Wimbledon in in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. “I told her, ‘Thank you for everything that you did,” Gauff said after the match, according to Wimbledon’s Twitter account. “I wouldn’t be here without you.’ I always wanted to tell her that.”
Gauff went on to win three main draw matches at Wimbledon this year before Simona Halep beat her, ESPN reports. She also became the youngest player at Wimbledon to win since Jennifer Capriati made the semifinals in 1991, after surprising nine-time champion Martina Navratilova in the quarterfinals, according to the U.S. Olympics Committee.
She also earned the nickname "Cocomania.” Yes, Cocomania! If that isn’t success, what is? 

Michelle Obama is a fan

The former First Lady Tweeted a big congrats to Gauff after her Wimbledon success. Since then, they’ve met and even exchanged autographs. She says she’s going to channel Obama’s advice as she takes on the U.S. Open. 
“She teaches young people not to feed into any negativity, to keep on your path and you will get there,” Gauff told USA Today Sports. “And that is [just what] I want to do. I’m excited [to play in the Open]. I’m not nervous. I don’t feel pressure. I know a lot of people are excited about me coming, but I just figure, ‘I’m 15. This is my second main-draw Slam.’ I’m just going to go in with a positive mindset and have fun.”

Her dad was her first coach 

Her father, Corey Gauff, has coached Coco since she was a kid. Now he helps where he can and works with her professional coach, Jean-Christophe Faurel.

She has great taste in food 

She says her favorite dinner is still her dad’s homemade mac and cheese. It’s a great choice. You know you want that recipe. That is all. 

People in the tennis world have long been fans

At just 13 years old, Gauff made the girls’ final of the 2017 U.S. Open on the I.T.F. junior level, The New York Times reports. Then when she was 14, she was the champion of the 2018 junior French Open. 
Martin Blackman, the U.S. Tennis Association’s general manager, player development, told USA Today he’s been following Gauff’s rise to the top for years. 
“I absolutely see her at the top of the sport,” Blackman said. “She is an off-the-charts athlete, but she is also an off-the-charts competitor and problem-solver.”

Her favorite meme is “And I — Oop!”

After her Wimbledon win, Gauff says her friends sent her this meme, made famous by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Jasmine Masters, According to The New York Times. 

She’s not afraid to aim high 

Three years ago, Gauff told a reporter that she wanted to win Grand Slams and be the best player ever to grace the world of tennis, USA Today reported. She’s well on her way. “I don’t think those goals will ever change, until I retire,” she says now.
Her plan to get there? She told Teen Vogue: “I just want to win more. I love winning more than I hate losing.”

More from Wellness

R29 Original Series