What were you doing when you were fifteen years old? I doubt you can say you defeated tennis legend Venus Williams en route to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon and wrapped it up by attempting to make a deep run at the US Open. If you can say that, your name is probably Cori “Coco” Gauff, and you have been putting the whole world on notice with your captivating tennis. If you can’t say that, it’s okay. You’re just not Coco Gauff.
Gauff has been kept busy after Wimbledon in a variety of ways, like playing the Citi Open and taking on Ashleigh Barty in a superb exhibition matchup. She even has some really cool “Call Me CoCo” shirts that have been released.
However, what makes Gauff impressive is not just her tennis, but the way she has handled this sudden fame with class and character. She has been up to a lot the last couple of months since her run at Wimbledon. That didn’t stop her from being primed for the US Open.
Just What has Coco Gauff Been Up To?
Wimbledon has come and gone, but what has the All-England Club’s surprise superstar been up to leading up to the US Open? Because of Rule XV in the WTA Rulebook, which governs players between 14 and 17 years of age, Gauff cannot play a full schedule despite her ranking. Many thought we wouldn’t be seeing more of Gauff for awhile.
Then came a twist around the rule that resulted in with a wild card into the qualifying draw of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. She did well to make it through the qualifying and earned a spot in the main draw before falling to the veteran Zarina Diyas.
Despite coming up short at the Citi Open, Gauff was given a hero’s welcome when arriving back to her Delray Beach school in early August. One thing to remember about Gauff is that she is not just a great tennis player, but a dedicated student. In the past, she has commented on her commitment to balancing her education and tennis life. That mindset is what makes this young talent primed to handle her meteoric rise into the spotlight with maturity and perspective.
Winston-Salem Exhibition: Gauff Defeats World #2 Ashleigh Barty
The spectacle that is the Coco Gauff story didn’t end with a loss at the Citi Open. The ATP Winston-Salem Open organizer paid tennis fans a big favor. They set up an exhibition match between Coco Gauff and French Open Champion Ashleigh Barty. While only an exhibition, this match was taken seriously by both players with the US Open around the corner. In a high-quality match that came down to a nail-biting ending, Gauff reigned supreme over Barty with a scoreline of 6-4, 2-6, [10-8].
Coco Gauff vs Tamia Babos
After conquering fellow teenager Anastasia Patapova in a thrilling three-setter, the young American didn’t leave her fans short for drama in her second-round matchup. After a quick and impressive first set against her opponent Timia Babos, Gauff’s level dropped and Babos took the second by a score of 6-4. Despite that Gauff showed a lot of poise and closed out the third set by the same score. Louis Armstrong Stadium was a rocking environment and Gauff made it through to her second consecutive grand slam third round.
Who’s up next…World #1 Naomi Osaka
What does Gauff get in return for her most recent victory? A match, most likely on Arthur Ashe Stadium, against the #1 seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka. This matchup looks to be a must-see with these two stars matching up. Osaka burst on to the scene last year by beating Serena Williams in Open and followed it up with a victory at the Australian Open.
It is hard to say who will take this match with Osaka’s form being shaky of late and this being Gauff’s second-ever grand slam main draw. No matter what happens, Gauff has a lot to be proud about and will be able to learn from this match whether she wins or loses. One thing is for sure, if she does win, Arthur Ashe Stadium will be loud.
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