Serena Williams might be “the reason why” 15-year-old Cori Gauff plays tennis, but it was Williams’s older sister, Venus, against whom the young phenom just collected her first major scalp at a Grand Slam tournament.
Gauff, also an American, took down Venus 6-4, 6-4 on Monday in the first round at Wimbledon. Gauff was the youngest player ever to qualify for the Grand Slam, CNN reported, but that didn’t stop her from defeating a five-time champion — a feat she fully appreciated, despite her young age.
“I don’t really know how to feel, this is the first time I’ve cried after a match, after winning,” Gauff told the BBC. “I definitely had to tell myself to stay calm, I had to remind myself the lines were the same [as on any other court].
“I never thought this would happen,” she added. “I’m living my dream right now, not many people get to say that.”
Gauff was born March 13, 2004, according to CNN, at which time Venus had already secured four Grand Slam titles. She eked her way into the tournament this past Thursday with a win in the final round of qualifiers in Roehampton, London.
Gauff first garnered notice last year, when she won the French Open girl’s championship. “Overall, I want to be the best I can be and be the greatest,” she told CNN at the time.
Her WTA ranking over the year since has skyrocketed from 874 to 301, a number that will only continue to rise with a first main-draw win at a Grand Slam under her belt. Between Gauff and fellow teen Amanda Anisimova — who is currently ranked no. 26, at 17 years of age — it’s safe to say that the future of American tennis is in good hands.
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