Cori “Coco” Gauff isn’t old enough to drive a car, but don’t let her age fool you, she’s well on her way to becoming tennis’ next star.
At 15 years and 122 days, Gauff knocked out 21-year-old Greet Minnen of Belgium to qualify for Wimbledon, making her the youngest player to do so in the Open era.
Her 6-1, 6-1 win earned her a place in the ladies’ singles portion of the tournament, which is set to begin on July 1.
“I don’t know about any of the records I break until after, until somebody tells me,” Gauff told Wimbledon reporters. “I just feel really blessed that I’m able to. I’m thankful that my parents never put any limitations on my goals, because sometimes parents can do that.”
Gauff received a call just eight days prior informing her of her wild-card invitation, per Wimbledon’s official site. At the time, she was online shopping but quickly turned her attention toward tennis.
Now, she will be the youngest player at Wimbledon since Laura Robson did so in 2009, also at 15 years old.
“I think my first memory was watching Serena play Wimbledon,” Gauff said.
Nonetheless, Gauff is no stranger to making history. At 13, she became the youngest girl to make a U.S. Open girls final and is among the youngest winners of the French Open girls championship at 14 years old.
Earlier in the year, she became the youngest to win a Grand Slam qualifying match at the French Open, also at 15.
"My parents always told me to shoot as high as I wanted to,” Gauff added. “And I’m just happy that, not only did they accept my goals, they really sacrificed everything to make sure I get there.”
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