By now, you’ve probably heard the name Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis player who is taking the world by storm and making a considerable name for herself. We thought the Venus Williams match would be the noteworthy performance of her for the year as 2019 was winding down. But not only did she top the Wimbledon performance, which made the world stand up and take notice, but she also topped it by becoming the youngest player to win a WTA title since 2004.
Winning Her First WTA Singles Tournament and Etching Her Name in History Books
Coco Gauff became the youngest WTA Tour winner since 2004.
Source: Instagram @cocogauff
When the year started, no one other than the close friends and people who coached Coco over the years saw the whole thing coming. But Wimbledon was the venue where the teenage Tennis player took to the center stage and qualified for the main draw at the Wimbledon, becoming the youngest person to qualify for the main draw in the open era.
The whole thing was an achievement on its own, but then her first match was against the five-time Wimbledon winner and former number one Venus Williams (also one of her idols). No one was expecting much from the match; the 39-year-old veteran was going up against a 15-year-old who turned pro merely months ago. But then the match began and most jaws in the whole world were open after Coco defeated Venus in straight sets.
Coco's first WTA title in any discipline was in Washington.
Coco lost in the fourth round by the eventual champion Simona Halep, but by then, she made her arrival, and the world over knew the talent and the bright future of Coco Gauff. All of her matches were the most seen in Wimbledon when it comes to American viewers with the country going crazy for the new Tennis sensation.
After the doubles win at Washington, the legend of Coco was growing, and she was showing one great performance after another, but everyone thought the win against Venus was going to be her highlight for the year of 2019. But she was not going to stop or even slow down which led the phenomenal child prodigy to Linz Open in Austria.
Coco Gauff won her first WTA Tour in Linz, making history.
Coco was again going through the qualifiers when she lost in the second round, but then after one of the players dropped out of the tournament, she got the lucky loser spot, and to say she made the best of the opportunity would be an understatement.
The teenager went through competition and she was on a tear when it comes to slaying current and former top 10 players. On her way to the final, she defeated the number one seed of the tournament Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals, in the semifinal Andrea Petkovic, fell victim to the conviction of Coco and then came the final where Jelena Ostapenko was waiting for her.
Watch: The WTA final in Linz where Coco Gauff made history
While the final moments of the tournament were playing out, Coco was hiding her jubilation until the final point when she looked up to the place where her parents were sitting, wearing her New Balance shirts, which read “Call Me Coco.” In winning the title, she etched her name into the history books becoming the youngest person since 2004 to win a WTA title.
An emphatic win, for an extraordinary performer, and an achievement crowning an amazing year for the talented athlete, which was nothing short of miraculous, mind-blowing, and empowering.
Getting Started and the Support of Her Parents
Coco Gauff was trained by her father and he is still her coach to this date.
Coco Gauff was born Cori Gauff on 13 March 2004 in Delray Beach, Florida, to her parents, mother Candi, and father, Corey Gauff. The athletic prowess of Coco was in part due to the genetics she received from her parents. Her mother was in the athletics team in Florida State, where she was involved in hurdles and was also a heptathlete, while, her father was a College Basketball player who played for Georgia State University.
Corey wanted his children; they’ve got three Codey and Cameron including Coco, who is the oldest, to play basketball like him but Coco was never interested in team sports and even though she was introduced to a wide range of sports, but the one, which took her heart was Tennis, and it was all because of Serena Williams.
Serena Williams was the reason Coco took up the racket and started playing Tennis.
The teenage sensation was only four years old when she watched Serena Williams lifting the Wimbledon trophy in 2009, and this was the sport she wanted to be part of, which is what her parents worked towards providing. They left their work to help out their daughter get all the help she needed to reach her goals. Her father, who was not so proficient in Tennis, took to the sport and became her coach while her mother was responsible for teaching her.
Coco was eight years old when she won the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation’s “Little Mo” eight years and under national tournament. This was also the first time she met Serena Williams who came to the tournament; they would later meet again for a commercial, but it was a great deal for the Coco to meet her icon and the woman who was responsible for her taking the racket and starting to play Tennis.
Roger Federer's management company, Team 8, is her representation.
By the time she was ten, Coco was working with Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of Serena Williams, who helped her get financial help and the training she needed to hone her skills and so began the legend of Coco Gauff. Many people worked behind the scenes tirelessly to get her to a point, and then her talent spoke volumes and brought her to the point where she is now.
Coco’s Endorsement Deals
Before winning her first WTA Tour title, Coco signed a deal with New Balance.
Before 2019, there was pretty little interest on a 15-year-old trying to get her career off the ground, but the New Balance bet on her, and they came up big when the deal signed in October of 2018 with the apparel company came to effect this year. She wears all New Balance gear and even the white T-Shirts with the signature “Call Me Coco” is on a New Balance T-Shirt.
Coco is also sponsored by the Italian food company Barilla which is the sponsor of Roger Federer. She is represented by Team 8, which the firm started by Roger Federer, and the super athlete's agent told CNN the phones were ringing off the hooks after her tournament wins.
So, be ready to see a lot of Coco and her new partners soon because the foundation of this athlete is solid, and it is better if everyone got in on the ground floor. Coco is going places, and the sky does not seem to be the limit for her, there is too much hype on her now but considering her exploits so far, she will more than likely stand on her two feet and usher in a new era in WTA.
Coco's favorite musician, Jaden Smith, holding up the "Call Me Coco" T-Shirt with Coco Gauff.
Maybe the expectations on her are too big for her to overcome them totally, but still, we are witnessing history in the making, and rarely does a 15-year-old win a tour. So, when it comes to the future, we hope for the best and also looking forward to seeing her flourish into someone akin to her idols, the Williams Sisters.