14-Year-Old Tennis Player Becomes Youngest Champion In French Open Singles Draw Since 1994
She's even trained with Serena Williams' coach.
June 09, 2018 at 7:09 pm
A rising star is making a name for herself at the French Open.
Cori "Co Co" Gauff, 14, defeated fellow American Caty McNally 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) to win the girls' title at the French Open Saturday.
"Obviously, I'm very excited and happy because this is my first time," said Gauff after the match, which featured 15 breaks of serve. "It was a tough fight, but at the end, it was worth it."
At her age, Cori becomes the youngest champion in the singles draw since Swiss player Martina Hingis won in 1994.
14-year-old American Coco Gauff wins all-🇺🇸 girls' singles final with a 16 63 76(1) triumph over Katy McNally. At 14 yrs, 2 mos is youngest champ since Hingis in '94 #RG18— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) June 9, 2018
The young tennis player comes from a family of gifted athletes.
Corey Gauff played basketball at Georgia State University, and Candi Gauff was a gymnast and a track star. Growing up in Delray Beach, Florida, Cori became interested in tennis at the tender age of 6, according to Tennis.com. She practiced hard and showed incredible focus for someone her age.
“One thing we noticed was that she had a unique ability to concentrate for 15 to 20 minutes,” Corey Gauff told ESPN.com. “As parents, we decided to make no-regrets moves: ‘Let’s get her good coaching and a lot of feedback.’”
.@CocoGauff prevails in a third-set tiebreaker to take the girls' singles title at Roland Garros!— USTA (@usta) June 9, 2018
At age 14, this is Cori's first Grand Slam 🏆.
Read More: https://t.co/EAeqBvPJr1#USTennis pic.twitter.com/tElK6QYv21
She has been competing at a high level for eight years. Cori won the Little Mo 8-and-under nationals in 2012. At 10, she won the USTA Clay Court 12s two years later. Around this time, Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach took an interest in Cori's development. She trained with Mouratoglou to improve her clay-court game which came in handy Saturday.
In 2016, she racked up another victory at the Orange Bowl 12s. And last fall, at 13, she became the youngest finalist in the U.S. Open girls’ event. Cori did not win this match but it would be another achievement in her young career.