At just 15-years-old Cori “Coco” Gauff is blazing a trail of her own on the tennis court. On Thursday, the young tennis star beat 21-year-old Greet Minnen of Belgium, 6-1, 6-1, to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw, making her the youngest player in the Open era to do so.
Like many Black girls who have picked up a racket, Gauff says that she was inspired by the Williams sisters. Now she’ll play against Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon.
“Serena Williams has always been an idol, and Venus, I mean, they’re the reason I wanted to pick up a tennis racket,” Gauff told reporters after qualifying. “I met them both, and they’re both super kind people and I’m just super happy and thankful that they chose to play tennis because I’m sure they’d dominate any sport they wanted to play.”
In 2017 the Atlanta native made history by becoming the youngest player to appear in a US Open junior final. Just one year later, she won the French Open girl’s championship. In other words, she’s on a roll and she isn’t slowing down any time soon.
According to Forbes, Gauff is already on track to earn at least $1 million this year through various endorsement deals with brands like New Balance, Barilla Group and Head. Whether she wins or loses the tournament, Gauff walk away a little bit richer. Fox business reports the loser (although everyone is a winner here!) of the first round match will win roughly $57,000 with the tournament's winner taking home $2 million.
No matter what happens, when the 2019 Wimbledon women’s singles tournament begins on July 1, Black girl magic will be on full display and we’ll be there to cheer both Williams and Gauff on!