Cori “Coco” Gauff is celebrating another big win.
The 19-year-old tennis did a little dance for the crowd after she defeated her Australian Open opponent, Marta Kostyuk, during their fiery quarterfinal match on Jan. 23. Gauff won the intense match with scores of 7-6 (6), 6-7 (3), 6-2, against the Ukrainian player in a grueling three-hour game.
During a press conference after the game, Gauff told reporters that she fought hard to win against Kostyuk during the competition, which will now secure her spot in the semifinals. The Grand Slam champ admitted that she was so eager to score another victory that her lack of focus impacted her performance. After battling through 51 unforced errors and nine double-faults in the first round, the young player was able to refocus and bounce back from the rocky start.
“Today was definitely a C-game. I didn’t play my best tennis but really proud that I was able to get through. Hopefully got the bad match out of the way and I can play even better,” Gauff said of her tough match with Kostyuk.
“I knew going in, playing her, it was (going to be) a tough match. She’s pretty athletic, and we kind of play similar. Today she was just more offensive, which I wish I was taking the offense from the beginning.”
Gauff isn’t letting Tuesday’s game bring her down. The star will face off No. 2 seed player Aryna Sabalenka in her next match during the Australian Open semifinals. In September 2023, the young tennis champ won her first U.S. Open title against Sabalenka after she defeated the latter 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Coco Gauff grew up playing tennis in Delray Beach, Florida.
Coco Gauff’s journey into the world of tennis began at a remarkably young age. Introduced to the sport by her father, Corey Gauff, who was also her primary coach, Coco displayed a natural aptitude for the game. Her early training and dedication laid the foundation for what would become a remarkable career.
During a court-side interview after her amazing win against Magdalena Frech Jan. 23, Gauff revealed that she had the coordinates to Pompey Park written on her sneakers. The athlete grew up playing tennis at the Delray Beach-based public park.
Her parents quit their jobs to support her career.
Gauff began playing tennis at the age of 6, according to Biography.com. Her formative years unfolded in Georgia, where her mother worked as a teacher and her father pursued a career as a pharmaceuticals executive. After they recognized Gauff’s burgeoning talent and passion for tennis, her parents made a pivotal decision. They opted to leave their jobs and relocate to Delray Beach to fully support the star’s training and to cultivate her tennis career. Candi took on the role of Gauff’s homeschool teacher, while Corey assumed the position of her coach.
During an interview with Black Tennis Magazine, Corey said that he taught his daughter the importance of being “a well-rounded athlete.”
“Learn other sports—that’s one thing we emphasized with Coco early on,” he added. “She was in gymnastics, soccer, basketball, and she ran track. We wanted her to develop as a total athlete.”
In the early stages of her tennis journey, Gauff’s potential caught the attention of Patrick Mouratoglou, renowned for coaching Serena Williams. At the age of 10, Coco traveled to Paris, France, to train under Mouratoglou, as she continued hone her skills with her father.
“That program exposed me to different ways to play,” Gauff revealed during her post-game press conference on Monday. Upon her return to Florida, Gauff attended a few small tennis academies where she continued to hone her impressive skills on the court — and her athletic prowess quickly became evident.
She defeated her idol, Venus Williams, and won numerous awards throughout her career.
In 2014, at just 12 years old, she clinched the United States Tennis Association Clay Court National 12-under title. Her remarkable journey continued in 2017 when she secured the second position at the U.S. Open Girls Junior Championships. The following year, Coco triumphed as the junior champion at the prestigious French Open, marking a significant milestone in her early tennis career.
2019 was a game changer for the rising tennis legend. At just 15 years old, she received a wildcard entry into the main draw for the Wimbledon Championships. The Grand Slam winner defeated her idol, Venus Williams, in the first round of the competition. This victory marked the beginning of an extraordinary run that saw Gauff reach the fourth round, cementing her status as a rising star.
Gauff thanked her good friend and fellow tennis player, Mary Joe Fernández, for giving her a few words of inspiration before the life changing match.
“I remember before I talked to her I was just grateful for the opportunity and I wanted to see how well I could do and she completely changed my mindset,” the Delray Beach native told Sports Illustrated Kids in 2021.
“She was like, ‘No, you have to go into this match thinking that you can win and believing that you can win.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I was really just happy to play, but now I actually have to think about winning.’ Once I had that conversation with her, my mindset changed and that probably helped me win the match.”
We can’t wait to see what Gauff will do next.
The post The Coco Gauff Experience: Following The Young Tennis Star’s Rise To Fame appeared first on NewsOne.
The Coco Gauff Experience: Following The Young Tennis Star’s Rise To Fame was originally published on newsone.com
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