Five time Wimbledon singles winner and beloved athlete, Venus Williams, was defeated during the first round in a shocking turn of events! 15-year-old American tennis prodigy, Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff is a young champion on the rise, especially after taking down one of her idols.
“Honestly I don’t really know how to feel,” Gauff said upon winning. “This was definitely the first time I ever cried after winning a match. I don’t even know how to explain how I feel. I had to tell myself to stay calm, I’d never played on a court so big. I had to remind myself that the lines are the same size.”
Gauff is the youngest player to ever qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon and she won 6-4, 6-4. Of course, Williams congratulated her after her win.
“I just told her I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her, she’s so inspiring,” Gauff said. “I’ve always wanted to tell her that but I’ve never had the guts to before.”
Next up for teen phenom will be Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova – 15 years her senior – in the second round.
Gauff is the youngest player to ever qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since the Open era began in 1968. She gives all credit to the Williams sisters, as being a major influence for her to first pick up a tennis racket.
“Venus told me congratulations and keep going, she said good luck and I told her thanks for everything she did,” Gauff added. “I never thought this would happen. I’m literally living my dream right now. I’m really happy Wimbledon gave me the chance to play, I never thought I would get this far.”
In a sharp introduction to the Wimbledon stage, Gauff initially struggled to return Williams’ serve but she soon impressed with big serves of her own.
Gauff won the French Open junior just title last year. Her win over Venus marks only the second time Williams has been beaten in the first round at Wimbledon since her 1997 debut.
Asked about Gauff’s future, Williams said: “I think the sky’s the limit, it really is. She did everything well today. She put the ball in the court, which was much better than I did. She served well, moved well. It was a great match for her.”
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