NEWS
02/07/2019 10:32 AM IST

Who Is Cori Gauff? 5 Things To Know About 15-Year-Old Who Beat Venus Williams

Teenager shocked the world on day one of Wimbledon.

A 15-year-old schoolgirl has beaten seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams on the opening day of Wimbledon.

American Cori Gauff is 24 years younger than her defeated opponent, whose record includes five Wimbledon titles.

Gauff is the youngest player to come through qualifying in the tennis Open era, and beat Venus Williams in straight sets 6-4 6-4 on No 1 Court on Monday.

Fans watching from the stands erupted into cheers and applause as the teenager secured her win.

Speaking afterwards she said she “didn’t really know how to feel” after beating one of her tennis idols.

“I never thought this would happen, I’m literally living my dream right now, not many people get to say that,” she said.

Here are five things you may not know about the teenager.

1. Playing your idols

Gauff, who is known as Coco, was inspired to play tennis because of the Williams sisters, especially Serena. Between them, Serena and Venus had won 10 grand slam singles titles before Gauff was born.

Serena has an extra connection to Gauff through her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, who has worked with the teenager, and Serena said: “She’s so cool. She’s a great girl. I love her dad. They’re just really cool people.”

PA Wire/PA Images

2. Late opportunity

At 301 in the world rankings, Gauff was not ranked high enough to get into qualifying but she was given a wild card by Wimbledon five days before her first match. At the time she found out, she was shopping online for a dress for a gala.

Gauff is still at school and had to stay up late to take a science test at 11pm UK time the night before her final-round qualifier. She went on to beat Greet Minnen 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour.

3. Star backer

Gauff has been marked out for stardom for a while and is represented by the Team 8 management company, which was set up by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick.

Federer said: “I’m super happy for her. I saw the last couple of games when she qualified. Obviously everybody was waiting to see what the draw was going to be like.

“It’s a great story. Coco is a nice girl, works really hard. I think she’s obviously got a wonderful future ahead of herself.”

4. Breaking records

The match with Venus was Gauff’s grand-slam debut in the main draw of the women’s singles but she is already used to the slam stage. She reached the showpiece of the girls’ singles at the US Open in 2017 aged just 13, making her the youngest ever finalist.

At the French Open the following year she won the title just over two months after her 14th birthday. She is the first 15-year-old to compete in the main draw at Wimbledon since Laura Robson 10 years ago.

5. Sporting pedigree

Gauff comes from a strong sporting family. She is coached by her father Corey, who played basketball at Georgia State University. Gauff’s mother Candi, meanwhile, was a gymnast before competing in athletics at Florida State University. The family moved from Atlanta to Florida when Gauff was just seven to boost her tennis prospects.