A new era in American tennis seems to have arrived with Cori “Coco” Gauff. Only 19 years old and currently ranked sixth in the world, Gauff managed to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year. She is the first to do so at her age since Serena Williams, who did so approximately two decades ago.
Gauff defeated former world number one Caroline Wozniacki (6-3, 3-6, 6-1) in the knockout stage of this year’s fourth and final Grand Slam. With three rounds to go before the tournament concludes, experts and tennis fans place her as one of the favorites to win the tournament. She has an especially good chance with the leader in the the WTA ranking, Iga Swiatek of Poland, being eliminated.
First WTA 1000 and French Open finalist in 2022
This season has seen Gauff solidify herself as one of the best tennis players alive. In January, she won her third WTA 250 tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. She had previously won in 2019 in Linz, Austria, and in 2021 in Parma, Italy. Seven months later, in August, the young American won her first WTA 500 in Washington, D.C., and her first WTA 1000 in Cincinnati.
Although this year she has won more than half of the professional tournaments she has played in, last season marked the real beginning of her rapid rise as a professional. Gauff reached the pinnacle of tennis by reaching the final of the French Open, which she ended up losing to Swiatek in two sets. That year, she also achieved her highest position in the WTA ranking, at number four in the world.
In doubles, she has yet to win a Grand Slam despite having played two finals: at Roland Garros in 2022 and at the U.S. Open in 2021. She has been ranked number one in the world in doubles.
A family of athletes and their similarities with Serena Williams
The American tennis player, born in Delray Beach, Fla., and raised for several years in Atlanta, grew up in a family of athletes, although neither of her parents played tennis professionally.
Her father, Corey Gauff — who is one of Coco’s coaches — was a basketball player at Georgia State University, while her mother, Candi Gauff, was an athlete at Florida State University.
A well-known admirer of the Williams sisters, the tennis world sees Gauff as the heir apparent to Serena. Both are similar in terms of their physical attributes, coming in at practically the same height, and both known for their supreme athleticism. Their style of play is also very similar, with both depending on powerful ball-striking and speed.
Credit: Voz US