Cori "Coco" Gauff (born March 13, 2004) is an American tennis player. She is the youngest player ranked in the top 100 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and has a career-high ranking of No. 51 in the world in singles, and No. 42 in doubles. Gauff won her first WTA singles title at the 2019 Linz Open at the age of 15, making her the youngest singles title-holder on the WTA Tour since 2004. She also has won two WTA doubles titles with compatriot and fellow teenager Caty McNally. Gauff rose to prominence with a first round upset of Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019.
Gauff at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Residence||Delray Beach, Florida, US|
|Born||March 13, 2004|
Delray Beach, Florida, US
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||42–21 (66.7%)|
|Career titles||1 WTA|
|Highest ranking||No. 49 (February 24, 2020)|
|Current ranking||No. 49 (February 24, 2020)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||4R (2020)|
|French Open||Q2 (2019)|
|US Open||3R (2019)|
|Career record||29–10 (74.4%)|
|Career titles||2 WTA, 1 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 42 (February 3, 2020)|
|Current ranking||No. 43 (February 17, 2020)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||QF (2020)|
|French Open||1R (2019)|
|US Open||3R (2019)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|US Open||2R (2018)|
|Last updated on: February 17, 2020.|
Born to athletic parents with NCAA Division I collegiate backgrounds in basketball and track and field, Gauff experimented with a variety of sports as a child. She chose to focus on tennis, having been inspired to play by the Williams sisters and because of her preference to compete in an individual sport. Gauff had quick success as a junior, earning a sponsorship to train at Patrick Mouratoglou's academy in France. She began playing on the ITF Junior Circuit at 13 and finished runner-up at the junior 2017 US Open in just her fourth ITF event, making her the youngest finalist in the tournament's history. She became the No. 1 junior in the world after winning the junior Grand Slam singles title over McNally at the 2018 French Open. She also won a junior Grand Slam doubles title at the 2018 US Open, this time partnering with McNally.
Gauff made her WTA Tour debut in March 2019 at the Miami Open and won her opening match. She received a wild card into the qualifying draw at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships where she became the youngest player in the tournament's history to qualify for the main draw. She reached the fourth round of the event, and each of her matches was the most-watched of the day in the United States. Gauff later reached the third round of a major at the 2019 US Open, and the fourth round of the 2020 Australian Open.
Early life and backgroundEdit
Gauff was born on March 13, 2004, to Candi (née Odom) and Corey Gauff, both of whom are from Delray Beach, Florida. She has two younger brothers, Codey who is four years younger and Cameron who is nine years younger. Her father played college basketball at Georgia State University and later worked as a health care executive, while her mother was a track and field athlete at Florida State University and worked as an educator. Gauff initially grew up in Atlanta, and first became interested in tennis at the age of four after watching Serena Williams win the 2009 Australian Open on television with her family. Her parents encouraged her to try a wide variety of sports including basketball and track. She began playing tennis at the age of six and decided she wanted to pursue it as a career because it was an individual sport and because of her early success in winning the "Little Mo" eight-and-under nationals at the age of eight. Gauff recalled, "I wasn't much of a team person. 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. When I turned eight, that was when I played 'Little Mo' and after that I decided to do that for the rest of my life."
When Gauff was seven years old, her family moved back to Delray Beach so that she would have better opportunities to train in tennis. They initially lived with her mother's parents before getting their own house. While in Florida, she worked with Gerard Loglo at the New Generation Tennis Academy for a few years starting from the age of eight. Both of Gauff's parents gave up their careers to focus on training their daughter, with her father later taking over as her primary coach and her mother overseeing her homeschooling. Her father had limited experience playing tennis growing up. At ten years old, Gauff also began to train at the Mouratoglou Academy in France that is run by Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams's longtime coach. Mouratoglou commented, "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... When she looks at you and tells you she will be number one, you can only believe it." He helped sponsor Gauff through his Champ'Seed foundation, which he created to provide funding for talented junior tennis players who did not have the financial resources to afford high-level training. Gauff continued to have success -- winning the USTA Clay Court National 12-and-under title at the age of 10 years and 3 months old -- to become the youngest champion in the tournament's history.
Gauff is a former world No. 1 junior. She entered the prestigious Les Petits As 14-and-under tournament in 2016 at the age of 12 and made it to the semifinals. Gauff began playing on the ITF Junior Circuit at the age of 13, skipping directly to the highest-level Grade A and Grade 1 tournaments. She finished runner-up to Jaimee Fourlis in her third career event, the Grade 1 Prince George's County Junior Tennis Championships in Maryland. At her next event, Gauff made her junior Grand Slam debut at the 2017 US Open and again finished runner-up, losing to Amanda Anisimova. She did not drop a set before the final in either tournament. Gauff also became the youngest girls' singles finalist in US Open history. After beginning 2018 with a semifinal at the Grade 1 Traralgon Junior International in Australia, Gauff lost her opening round match at the Australian Open. She did not enter another tournament in singles until French Open, where she won her first career junior Grand Slam tournament title. She did not drop a set until the final, where she came from behind to defeat compatriot Caty McNally in three sets. With the title, Gauff became the fifth youngest girls' singles champion in French Open history. A month later following another final win against McNally at the Grade 1 Junior International Roehampton, she also became the No. 1 junior in the world.
Gauff reached the quarterfinals in singles at each of the last 2 Grand Slam tournaments of the year. She fared better in doubles at both tournaments, reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon with partner María Lourdes Carlé and winning her first junior Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open with McNally as her partner. Gauff and McNally defeated compatriots Hailey Baptiste and Dalayna Hewitt in the final, and won all of their matches in straight sets. In September, Gauff represented the United States at the Junior Fed Cup with Alexa Noel and Connie Ma. The team reached the final against Ukraine. After Gauff won her singles rubber and Noel lost hers, Gauff and Noel won the Junior Fed Cup by defeating Lyubov Kostenko and Dasha Lopatetskaya in the decisive doubles rubber that ended 11–9 in a match tiebreak. Gauff finished the year with another Grade A title in singles at the Orange Bowl. She ended the season ranked No. 2 in the world behind Clara Burel.
2018–19: Wimbledon breakthrough, maiden WTA titles, top 100Edit
Gauff made her debut on the ITF Women's Circuit in May 2018 as a qualifier in the $25K event at Osprey, where she won her first professional match. She received a wild card into qualifying at the US Open, but lost her opening match two months after turning 14 years old. In her first tournament of 2019, she finished runner-up in doubles at the $100K Midland Tennis Classic alongside Ann Li. Two weeks later, Gauff played her next event at the $25K level in Surprise and reached the finals in both singles and doubles. Although she finished runner-up in singles, she won her maiden WTA title in doubles alongside Paige Hourigan against compatriots Usue Maitane Arconada and Emina Bektas. In March, Gauff made her WTA main draw debut as a wild card at the Miami Open and recorded her first WTA match win against Caty McNally. She lost her next match to Daria Kasatkina.
After losing in the second round of qualifying at the French Open, Gauff qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon, after entering the qualifying draw using a wildcard. She upset world No. 92 Aliona Bolsova, the top seed in the qualifying draw, in the first round and defeated No. 128 Greet Minnen in the third and final qualifying round while only losing two games. Gauff also became the youngest player to reach the main draw at Wimbledon by qualifying in the Open Era at the age of 15 years and 3 months old. In her main draw debut, she upset world No. 44 Venus Williams in straight sets. She continued her run into the fourth round with victories over Magdaléna Rybáriková and No. 60 Polona Hercog, and needed to save two match points against Hercog in particular. The hype surrounding her first round match win helped lead to her third round match being scheduled on Centre Court. She was eliminated with a fourth round loss to eventual champion Simona Halep. All four of her matches were most-watched matches on ESPN on their respective days. With this performance, Gauff rose to No. 141 in the world.
Gauff played in one US Open Series tournament at the Citi Open, where she qualified for the main draw but lost in the first round. She also entered the doubles event with Caty McNally and defeated Fanny Stollár and Maria Sanchez in the final for their first career WTA title in their first WTA event together. At the US Open, Gauff was awarded wild cards into the singles and doubles main draws. She continued her Grand Slam success in singles with two three-set wins over Anastasia Potapova and Tímea Babos, both on the Louis Armstrong show court. She was defeated in the third round by world No. 1 Naomi Osaka. In doubles, Gauff and McNally also won two matches, including an upset over ninth seeds Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke. They lost in the third round to eventual runners-up Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka. Gauff entered two more tournaments following the US Open. Although she lost in qualifying at the Linz Open, she entered the main draw as a lucky loser and won the title, notably upsetting top seed Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals for her first top ten victory. She defeated Jeļena Ostapenko in the final to become the youngest WTA player to win a singles title since 2004. With this title as well as a semifinal in doubles with McNally, she made her top 100 debuts in both the WTA singles and doubles rankings. Gauff and McNally ended their year with a second WTA doubles title at the Luxembourg Open over Kaitlyn Christian and Alexa Guarachi.
2020: Australian Open fourth roundEdit
Gauff started 2020 playing at the 2020 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. In singles she defeated Viktoria Kuzmova before losing to Laura Siegemund in the second round. Playing doubles with Caty McNally Gauff reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual champions Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad. At the Australian Open, Gauff defeated Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round, Sorana Cirstea in the second, and defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third, becoming the youngest player to defeat a top 5 player since Jennifer Capriati beat Gabriela Sabatini at the 1991 US Open. In the fourth round, she lost to the eventual champion, Sofia Kenin, in three sets, losing the final set to love. In doubles, Gauff and McNally recorded their best result in a Grand Slam to date, reaching the Quarterfinals before falling to 2nd seeded Kristina Mladenovic and Tímea Babos 6–2, 6–4.
In October 2018, Gauff signed her first multi-year sponsorship contract, with New Balance. In March 2019, she announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Italian food company Barilla, which also sponsors Roger Federer.
Gauff's tennis idols are Serena and Venus Williams. "Serena Williams has always been my idol...and Venus," she has said. "They are the reason why I wanted to pick up a tennis racket." Gauff first met Serena when she won the Little Mo national tournament at the age of eight, and later met her again to film a commercial for Delta Airlines and at the Mouratoglou Academy. After defeating Venus at Wimbledon in 2019, Coco commended Venus when they shook hands at the net. "I was just telling her thank you for everything she's done for the sport," Coco said. "She's been an inspiration for many people. I was just really telling her thank you."
Grand Slam performance timelineEdit
Only WTA Tour (incl. Grand Slams) main-draw results are considered in the career statistics.
Current through the 2020 Australian Open.
|Australian Open||A||A||4R||0 / 1||3–1||75%|
|French Open||A||Q2||0 / 0||0–0||–|
|Wimbledon||A||4R||0 / 1||3–1||75%|
|US Open||Q1||3R||0 / 1||2–1||67%|
|Win–Loss||0–0||5–2||3–1||0 / 3||8–3||73%|
|Australian Open||A||QF||0 / 1||3–1|
|French Open||1R||0 / 1||0–1|
|Wimbledon||A||0 / 0||0–0|
|US Open||3R||0 / 1||2–1|
|Win–Loss||2–2||0–0||0 / 2||2–2|
- McBride, Jessica (July 8, 2019). "Candi Gauff, Coco Gauff's Mother: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Persak, Mike. "Delray's Coco Gauff, 14, stays grounded with family after winning French Open girls' title". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- Cohen, Claire (July 3, 2019). "So who is Wimbledon wunderkind, Cori 'Coco' Gauff?". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Rothenberg, Ben. "Cori Gauff: 10 Things to Know About the Newest Tennis Phenom". New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
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- Lewis, Colette. "Fourlis Sweeps Girls Titles, Mejia Wins Both Boys Championships at ITF Grade 1 Prince George's County International Hard Courts". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Anisimova Downs Gauff for US Open Girls Championship; Wu Makes History with Boys Title; Danilovic and Kostyuk Claim Girls Doubles Crown". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Americans Gauff and Anisimova Meet for US Open Girls Title; Geller and Wu to Decide Boys Championship; Wu and Hsu Claim Boys Doubles Crown; Stephens Beats Keys for Women's Title". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "Gauff edges McNally in all-American girls' final in Paris". WTA Tennis. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "June Aces; Gauff, Nakashima Win Grade 1 Roehampton Titles; Nanda, Mayo and Stearns Qualify for Wimbledon Junior Championships; McDonald and Isner into Wimbledon's Second Week". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Kodat, Vallabhaneni, Bicknell and Wiersholm Win ITF Junior Circuit Titles; Gauff Moves to Top Spot in ITF Junior Rankings; Altamirano, Pegula Take Early Lead in US Open Wild Card Race; Liu, Aragone Qualify for WTA and ATP Events". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Seyboth Wild and Wang Make History at US Open Junior Championships; McNally and Gauff Capture Girls Doubles Title". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "US Girls Win Second Straight Junior Fed Cup Title, Spain Claims Junior Davis Cup; Muhammad and Mmoh Capture Titles in Templeton and Tiburon". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Gauff Comeback Ends with Another Orange Bowl Title; Finland's Virtanen Makes History with Victory over Khan". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Burel and Tseng Named 2018 ITF World Junior Champions; Cressy Wins Tallahassee Futures; Racquet Club of Memphis, Site of USTA Girls Clay Courts, to Close". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "14-year-old Cori Gauff sets another milestone in her GOAT quest!". Tennis World USA. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
- "Cori Gauff". ITF World Tennis Tour. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "Americans struggle on Day 2 of US Open qualifying". Baseline. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "McNally Upsets Top Seed Peterson to Reach Midland $100K Final; Cressy Advances to Cleveland Challenger Final; Forbes Wins Grade 1 in Ecuador". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Lewis, Colette. "Wake Forest, Ohio State Advance to Men's D-I ITA Team Indoor Final; Redlicki Wins Tucson Title, Gauff Comes Up Short in Surprise; Opelka Captures New York Open". ZooTennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "2019 Miami Open: Gauff 'controls the controllables,' marvels in first WTA win". WTA Tennis. March 21, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- Kane, David. "'I remember every match' – Kasatkina reignites Venus rivalry in Miami after tough 2019". WTA Tennis. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "American Cori 'Coco' Gauff becomes youngest Wimbledon qualifier in Open Era history". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Clarey, Christopher. "Cori Gauff, 15, Seizes Her Moment, Upsetting Venus Williams at Wimbledon". New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Tignor, Steve. "Coco Gauff is the youngest at Wimbledon, but she plays a grown-up game". Tennis.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "'It's pretty surreal how life changes': Gauff halts Hercog, sets Halep battle at Wimbledon". WTA Tennis. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Ingle, Sean (July 8, 2019). "The Coco bubble pops at Wimbledon as Simona Halep ousts Cori Gauff". The Guardian. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
- Nagle, Dave. "Wimbledon Viewership up 29%; Coco, Sport's Legends Provide Compelling Action". ESPN Press Room. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- "WTA Rankings Update 2019: Halep returns to Top 5, Gauff soars". WTA Tennis. July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- "Gauff cruises into Citi Open main draw". WTA Tennis. July 28, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- "Gauff, McNally win Citi Open doubles: 'The way we're playing, we can go as far as we want'". WTA Tennis. August 3, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
- Clarey, Christopher. "Coco Gauff Delivers Again, in an Electric U.S. Open Win". New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
- Tignor, Steve. "In A Tenacious Tug of War, Coco Gauff Brings Armstrong House Down". Tennis.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
- Livaudais, Stephanie (September 1, 2019). "'Coco, I think you're amazing' – Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff's emotional moment after US Open clash". WTA Tennis. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- Streeter, Kurt (September 1, 2019). "Team 'McCoco' Takes a Turn in the Spotlight". New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Di Costanzo, Diane (September 2, 2019). "Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty end Gauff, McNally run". US Open. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- Livaudais, Stephanie (October 10, 2019). "Bertens dodges Van Uytvanck, gets Gauff next in Linz quarterfinals". WTA Tennis. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- "'It's been an unbelievable week for me' – Gauff grabs first title, defeats Ostapenko in Linz". WTA Tennis. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- "Cori Gauff Rankings History". WTA Tennis. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- "Gauff, McNally win second doubles title in Luxembourg". WTA Tennis. October 19, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
- Alexander, Blayne (January 26, 2020). "Coco Gauff knocked out of Australian Open by fellow American Sofia Kenin". nbcnews.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
- "Babos, Mladenovic prove too good for Gauff, McNally in Melbourne doubles". WTA Tennis. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- "Tennis Racquet Reviews | Tennis String Reviews | ATP & WTA Tennis Racquets & Strings List". TennisThis.com.
- Newcomb, Tim. "Breakout Star Coco Gauff Gives New Balance Fresh Momentum". Forbes. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
- "Tennis prodigy, 14, signs multi-year sponsor deal". CNN. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Badenhausen, Kurt. "This 15-Year-Old Tennis Phenom Will Earn $1 Million In 2019". Forbes. Retrieved January 20, 2020.