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Coco Gauff’s steady rise to tennis greatness

Coco Gauff’s journey in tennis began at a young age. Born and raised in Delray Beach, Florida, she started playing tennis at the age of…

Coco Gauff’s journey in tennis began at a young age. Born and raised in Delray Beach, Florida, she started playing tennis at the age of six.

Her parents, both former college athletes, recognized her talents and provided her with the support and resources she needed to develop her skills.

Gauff’s breakthrough moment came in 2019 when she received a wildcard entry into the main draw of Wimbledon.   At just 15 years old, she became the youngest player to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon in the Open Era.

Her first-round match was against her idol, Venus Williams, a legendary player in the sport.  In a stunning upset, Gauff defeated Williams in straight sets, capturing the attention of the tennis world.

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Her victory over Venus Williams was just the beginning. Gauff’s poise and skill on the court impressed fans and experts alike with her aggressive style of play, powerful groundstrokes, and exceptional court coverage showcasing her immense talent.

She continued her winning streak at Wimbledon by defeating Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog, reaching the fourth round.   It was a remarkable run for a player of her age and experience.

Gauff’s success at Wimbledon propelled her into the spotlight.   She became an overnight sensation, and the media dubbed her the “Coco-mania.”

People were captivated by her maturity, composure, and the way she handled herself both on and off the court.   Her interviews showcased her intelligence, humility, and self-belief, making her a role model for young athletes worldwide.

Following her breakthrough at Wimbledon, Gauff’s success continued.   She reached the third round of the US Open later that year, defeating Timea Babos and Tsvetana Pironkova along the way.

In early 2020, she made another deep run in a Grand Slam tournament, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she faced eventual champion Sofia Kenin.

Gauff’s strong performances led to a significant rise in her ranking.   In January 2020, she became the youngest player to break into the top 50 of the WTA rankings since 2005.   Her consistent results and exceptional potential cemented her status as one of the most exciting young talents in tennis.

However, Coco’s crowning moment came on September 9 when she defeated world number 4, Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win the US Open in the showpiece match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to become the youngest American Grand Slam champion since Serena Williams in 1999.

Her victory is a remarkable achievement for a player who only turned professional in 2018 as she also became the youngest player to win a Grand Slam singles title since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.

Her triumph was the most-viewed women’s final of any tennis major ever broadcast according to ESPN who revealed that their viewership was, reportedly, up by 92 per cent from the last year’s women’s championship.

Gauff’s win against Sabalenka is understood to be the second-most-viewed US Open telecast. Serena Williams’ 2002 final against her sister Venus claims the first spot on this list. Gauff’s final encounter also helped the weekend’s overall tournament viewership to go up to 2.8 million, which is the second-most-viewed US Open of all-time on ESPN.

Beyond her individual achievements, Gauff has also made valuable contributions to the United States Fed Cup team.   She represented her country in the prestigious tournament, helping the team reach the finals in 2020.   Her performances and commitment to the team showcased her dedication to representing her nation in international competitions.

While Coco Gauff’s journey is still unfolding, her rise to glory has been nothing short of extraordinary. Her talent, determination, and maturity have propelled her to the forefront of tennis at a young age.   With her remarkable achievements, Gauff has already left an indelible mark on the sport, and her future prospects are incredibly promising.

Tennis fans eagerly await her continued success and the impact she will make both on and off the court.  She is no doubt following in the footsteps of the Williams sisters.

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