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Coco Gauff: Tennis Prodigy Carrying America’s Hopes

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Serena Williams was the face of American tennis during her 27-year-long career in professional tennis. Her retirement left a gap, but it seems like American tennis now has a rising star. Cori Dionn, fondly known as Coco Gauff, is expected to take the mantle and be the leading American tennis player. 

As of 2023, Coco Gauff is 19 years old, so what’s her track record?

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Coco Gauff’s Early Life

Coco Gauff in a tennis court. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Gauff was born on 13 March 2004 to her parents Corey and Candi Gauff. Her father played basketball while her mother was a gymnast. They both left their jobs and moved to Florida to support their daughter’s tennis career.

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Coco Gauff’s Rookie Career

Coco Gauff’s tennis career began at the age of 6. Her father was her primary coach but she also worked with Patrick Mouratoglou, who coached Serena Williams

In 2014, Gauff won her first tournament at the United States Tennis Association Clay Court National 12-under title.

In 2017, she finished second in the U.S. Open Girl’s Junior Championships, and the following year, Gauff won the French Open juniors.

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Professional Tennis Career

Coco Gauff chasing a ball at the French Open. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

When Gauff turned pro in 2018, she was ranked 685 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Her goal was to be one of the top 100 players. 

In 2019, she got a wildcard to play Wimbledon and her first opponent was Venus Williams. She defeated the 7-time grand slam champion.

Gauff finished the tournament in fourth place, the youngest player to do so and backed up claims of her being a special talent. During the U.S. Open that year, Gauff was knocked out in the third round. This also made her the youngest player to reach the third round. 

In October 2019, Gauff celebrated her first WTA title after winning Austria’s Liz Open. She realized her goal of being one of the 100 top WTA players. 

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At the Australian Open in 2020, Gauff lasted until the fourth round. In the French Open and Wimbledon, she finished in the quarterfinals and fourth round respectively before she won another WTA title in Parma, Italy.

Away from the singles, Coco Gauff has been successful in doubles tennis. She’s won eight doubles titles – five with Jessica Peguilia and three with Caty McNally.

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Coco Gauff’s Prize Money

Coco Gauff has cashed in a good amount of money so far in her career. Her latest victory at the Western & Northern Open gave her $454,500. Although winning a grand slam will boost her overall career winnings due to their lucrative nature, Gauff still has a healthy financial income. The player has total career earnings of $8,057,463

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Will Coco Gauff Be the Next Serena Williams?

Coco Gauff lifting a trophy. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

In recent weeks, Coco Gauff has been confronted with this question. She admitted that whilst it added pressure to her, she’s not trying to be the next Serena Williams. She only wants to be the best version of herself. 

“I do think there’s a slight pressure and everybody’s looking at me. I don’t think anybody will [take Serena’s mantle] because she’s just one of a kind but I will try my best to be the best Coco.” Gauff told Yahoo Sports.

Coco Gauff has a long way to go with her career. She now needs to find a way of winning grand slams and build on this anticipated expectation of being the American face of tennis. 

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