Coco Gauff, a rising young tennis star, credits Serena Williams and her sister, Venus, with inspiring her dad to buy her a racquet. It seems fitting, then, that she’s making her deepest run yet at the U.S. Open the same year Serena is “evolving” away from the sport.
Gauff, who is just 18 years old, has a quarterfinals match against Caroline Garcia Monday night. She is the youngest American to make the quarterfinals at the tournament since 2009, according to Forbes.
Has Coco Gauff won a major?
Gauff’s U.S. Open performance is capping off an exciting summer. In June, she made her first major final at the French Open, where she lost to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Also this summer, Gauff achieved her highest ranking yet. She rose to No. 11 in early July before falling to 12 ahead of the U.S. Open.
“Gauff has won 11 of her last 13 major matches,” Forbes reported.
Since going pro in 2018, Gauff has won two single’s tournaments: Parma in 2021 and Linz in 2019, according to her Women’s Tennis Association player profile.
She’s been more successful in doubles. She has five career doubles titles and is currently ranked no. 1.
What’s Coco Gauff’s background?
Gauff was born in Florida in 2004 to Corey and Candi Gauff, who were both college athletes. Corey played basketball for Georgia State and Candi competed in track and field at Florida State, the player profile noted.
Gauff’s actual first name is Cori, but she’s gone by Coco throughout her career, according to The New York Times.
“All members of Gauff’s immediate family have the initials C.D.G., including her younger brothers, Cody and Cameron,” that article noted.
Before turning pro, Gauff reached “the girls’ final of the 2017 United States Open at 13. She won the girls’ final of the French Open the next year,” the Times reported.
What’s Coco Gauff’s history at the U.S. Open?
Gauff got her first taste of a major spotlight at the 2019 U.S. Open, as a 15-year-old. She surprised the world by making it into the third round “and suddenly emerged as the next great hope of American women’s tennis,” as The Wall Street Journal recently reported.
But then, in 2020, Gauff lost in the first round. One year later, she lost in the second. (She did make it to the women’s doubles final in 2021 with fellow American Caty McNally.)
American tennis fans are more than a little excited to see her perform so well this year, the Journal reported.
“The loudest moments inside Arthur Ashe Stadium so far were reserved for (Serena Williams’) farewell tour. But on Sunday afternoon, Gauff seemed to inherit all the noise,” the article noted.
What other Americans are doing well at the 2022 U.S. Open?
Gauff isn’t the only American having a tournament to be proud of. On Monday, Frances Tiafoe took down one of the giants of the men’s game: Rafael Nadal.
“Tiafoe pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, victory over Nadal, the 22-time major champion, to advance to the second major quarterfinals of his career,” ESPN reported.
Tiafoe is the only American man remaining in the tournament. On the women’s side, Gauff’s part-time doubles partner, Jessica Pegula, is also still alive.