Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, a 15-year-old tennis player and high school student, has defeated seven-time Grand Slam singles winner Venus Williams 6-4 6-4 on the first day of Wimbledon.
The two competed on the No. 1 court Monday (July 1) less than a week after Gauff finished her final exams. Speaking after the incredible match, Gauff said her friends and family are ecstatic and that she’s “literally living my dream right now.”
“I know [my parents] are super happy, my dad was just jumping up every time I won a point,” she described. “I'm just so happy and blessed that they really just spent all their time on me and my brothers and making sure that we're successful.”
To put this incredible victory in perspective, Gauff wasn’t even born when Williams won her first Wimbledon title in 2000. And even though she wasn’t alive to see Venus win her first four Grand Slam titles live, she credits the tennis legend for being a trailblazer in the sport.
“Venus told me congratulations and keep going, she said good luck and I told her thanks for everything she did,” Gauff said after the match. “I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her — I told her she was so inspiring and I've always wanted to tell her that but I've never had the guts to before.”
On her victory, Coco Gauff says she’s still in disbelief. “Honestly I don’t really know how to feel. This was definitely the first time I ever cried after winning a match. I don’t even know how to explain how I feel,” she said. “I had to tell myself to stay calm, I’d never played on a court so big. I had to remind myself that the lines are the same size.”
While young, Gauff is not unknown in the tennis world. She was the youngest U.S. Open junior finalist at 13 and according to Forbes, is set to earn a million dollars from endorsements in 2019.
See highlights from Cori Gauff’s match against Venus Williams below.
Photo: TPN/Getty Images