Coco GauffAmerican Tennis Player
Coco Gauff (Cori Gauff) is an American tennis player. She won her first WTA singles title when she was just 15 years old in 2019.
• Date of birth: 13 March 2004
• Age: 19 years old
• Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
• Residence: Palm Beach County, Florida, USA
• Nationality: American
• Height: 175cm / 5ft 9ins
• Plays: Right-handed
• Turned Pro: 2018
• Career Prize Money: US$ 2,811,493
• Instagram: @cocogauff
• Twitter: @CocoGauff
She started playing tennis when she was six years old and comes from a family with a sporting background.
Her father Corey played basketball at Georgia State, and her mother Candi excelled in gymnastics before competing in track and field at Florida State University.
She made her professional debut on the WTA Tour in 2019, at the Miami Open. She then won her first WTA Singles title in October of that year, triumphing at just 15 years old, after having reached the fourth round of Wimbledon earlier in the season following a run as a qualifier.
In May 2021, Gauff won her second singles title, this time at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, Italy.
So, what do we know about Gauff’s journey to becoming the talented tennis player she is today? This is her story.
Early Life, Parents And Upbringing
Coco Gauff (Full name: Cori Gauff) was born on 13 March 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Both of her parents, father Corey and mother Candi, were keen athletes. She has two younger brothers – Codey and Cameron.
Coco’s father played basketball at Georgia State, while her mother was a talented gymnast, who went on to compete in track and field at Florida State University.
Gauff was inspired to take up tennis after watching the Williams sisters in action. “Serena Williams has always been my idol – and Venus,” Guaff said in 2019. “They are the reason why I wanted to pick up a tennis racquet.”
When she was growing up, her parents encouraged her to try a range of different sports and activities, including basketball, track, dance, gymnastics, cheerleading and soccer. However, it was tennis that won her over and she started playing when she was six years old.
Her father Corey revealed that her ability to focus stood out from the time she first picked up a tennis racquet.
“One thing we noticed was she had a unique ability to actually concentrate for 15 to 20 minutes,” said Corey in an interview in 2017. “As parents, we decided to make no-regrets moves: ‘Let’s get her good coaching and a lot of feedback.'”
Coco’s parents made the decision to move their family to Delray Beach, Florida, to ensure that she was able to get the best training possible.
Coco has revealed that she fell in love with the sport early on, but initially preferred to hit with friends rather than practice.
“I wasn’t much of a team person,” Coco said during an interview in 2017. “I loved tennis. I was so-so about it in the beginning because when I was younger I didn’t want to practice at all. I just wanted to play with my friends.”
Gauff began training at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in Paris when she was 10 years old, before moving to his facility in Sophia Antipolis, France.
She enjoyed something of a breakthrough year in 2018, when she won the French Open junior singles title and the US Open junior doubles title with Caty McNally.
Coco turned professional in 2018, and made her WTA Tour debut in March 2019 at the Miami Open, where she won her opening match, beating fellow American teenager Catherine McNally. She lost to Daria Kasatkina in the next round.
Coco then enjoyed a spectacular run at Wimbledon 2019, coming through qualifying and beating her idol Venus Williams in the first round at SW19.
Speaking after defeating Venus Williams in the first round, Coco revealed what she said to her opponent at the net after the match. “I was just telling her thank you for everything she’s done for the sport. She’s been an inspiration for many people. I was just really telling her thank you.”
She progressed to round four at Wimbledon, where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep.
First WTA Singles Title And More Progress
In October 2019, Gauff captured her first WTA singles title. She entered the main draw at the Linz Open as a lucky loser and won the title, beating Jelena Ostapenko in the final to become the youngest WTA player to win a singles title since 2004.
“I’ll definitely remember this moment for the rest of my life,” Gauff said on the court as she held her trophy after her final victory.
Coco won her second career WTA singles title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, Italy in May 2021, beating China’s Wang Qiang in the final 6-1, 6-3 in just 74 minutes.
That victory helped to propel her up to number 25 in the WTA singles world rankings.
She also won the doubles title in Parma, alongside partner Caty McNally later in the day, making her the youngest player to win both the singles and doubles titles at an event since Maria Sharapova won both titles at the 2004 Birmingham Classic.
“It definitely means a lot, especially on clay, which is not really a surface I feel like people associate with me,” Gauff said at a news conference after the matches. “I always liked [clay], but I always fall on it, I always get dirty! I have good results on it, so it’s not about my performance. It’s just that clay shows you a little extra love than the other surfaces do.”
Life Away From The Court
According to her profile page on the official WTA website, Gauff enjoys hanging out with her brothers and family, watching superhero movies and making TikTok videos when she’s not playing tennis.
Her favourite city is Paris because of the history, food and architecture, and her favourite celebrity is Beyonce.
She does not have any pets but has been trying to convince her mother to get a dog.
Sponsorships And Endorsements
In October 2018, when she was just 14 years old, Gauff signed her first multi-year sponsorship deal with New Balance.
She is also sponsored by Italian food company Barilla. The deal was announced in March 2019.
What Have Others Said?
Venus Williams, speaking after losing to Gauff in the first round of Wimbledon in 2019: “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.”
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou, speaking about Gauff in 2019: “I’ll always remember the first time I saw Coco. She came over to the Mouratoglou Academy in 2014 to try out and she impressed me with her determination, athleticism and fighting spirit.”
Two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin, speaking after Gauff beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2019: “People have been talking about Coco for years. They have now started to recognise her internationally. Obviously she’s a tremendous athlete, but to walk on court to face Venus, a player who she idolises, there were plenty of opportunities for her to get tight and nervous. She has been raised for greatness and this is beginning.”