Black teen US tennis sensation Coco Gauff on Thursday created history by beating Martina Trevisan in the women’s singles semi-final of the French Open to book a place in the final, where she will face World Number 1 Iga Swiatek. But more than her victory in the semi-final, it’s her post-match comments that have made the 18-year-old tennis star the darling of tennis fans across the world.
When asked if she was worried about facing World Number 1 opponent in the final, Gauff said that she wasn’t worried about her tennis competitor as people in her country and the world were facing far bigger challenges.
She said, “I’m in the mindset now It doesn’t matter. I am going to be happy regardless, my parents are going to love me regardless. Yes it’s great to be in the final but there are so many things going on in the world right now, especially in the US. There are a lot of stuff happening right now. I think it’s not important to stress over a tennis match.”
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If this wasn’t enough, Gauff used the opportunity to send a powerful message against the rampant gun violence in her country. Before leaving the court, she wrote on the camera lense, “Peace. End Gun Violence.”
This earned her plaudits from tennis greats including Britain’s Tim Henman, who praised her maturity. Gauff’s comments assumed significance in light of a series of mass shootings targeting Black people and young students in America in recent weeks.
Who is Coco Gauff?
Coco Gauff, real name Cori Gauff, was born on 13 March 2004 in Delray Beach, Florida. Her parents are Corey Gauff and Candi Gauff. She has two siblings namely Codey Gauff and Cameron Gauff Both her brothers are younger than her. Gauff’s father was in his college basketball team. Her mother too was a runner in university.
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She decided to become a tennis player after watching fellow American Serena Williams play at the Australian Open. Her parents decided to make her a tennis player when she was just six.
Gauff became the youngest girl to reach the US Open final in the tournament’s history. At the age of 15, she became the youngest player ever to reach the main Wimbledon draw. She beat Serena Williams’ sister Venus Williams in the first round. Her future successes earned her the ranking of 67 in 2020. At the Australian Open, she defeated reigning champion Naomi Osaka of Japan.
Coco Gauff has earned more than $500,000 in prize money to date. She is set to win $2.4m in prize money if she wins the French Open title.
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Gauff is not dating anyone at the moment as she remains focussed on achieving glory in tennis.