Cori “Coco” Gauff, who at 15 years old is the youngest woman to ever reach Wimbledon’s main draw, pulled off a tremendous upset on Monday when she beat Venus Williams in the very first round of the tournament. Williams, who is 39, lost 6-4, 6-4.
Gauff is also the youngest woman to win in the first round of ladies’ singles Wimbledon since 1991, but this win had even more personal meaning to her. The Williams sisters are her idols — she told BBC Sport that Serena Williams is “the reason why I play tennis,” and that sharing the court with Venus is something she’s been dreaming of.
That’s how Gauff chose to approach this match with one of her idols: As a dream, and not something to be scared of. Via BBC Sport:
"Many people have been like, 'Do you like your draw?' — I love my draw. Playing one of the greatest players of all time is a dream — I'm excited to see how I do."
As she’s poised to follow the same path Venus and Serena Williams blazed for her, Gauff knows that she needs to take time to soak everything in and appreciate where she is and what she’s doing.
“I have nothing to lose, playing against one of the greatest players of all time,” Gauff told NBC. “I’m just super honored that I get to share the court with her. Not many people get to play Wimbledon at 15 so I’m just happy that I’m one of them.”
Gauff did more than just share the court. She beat an all-time great at just 15 years old, and then got to shake hands with her idol before bursting into tears of disbelief and happiness.
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