What you were doing when you were in your early teens? Fifteen-year-old Cori Gauff is smashing records and rewriting history books. The young tennis ace from Florida becomes the youngest player to contest the ladies’ singles draw at Wimbledon since 15-year-old Laura Robson, who achieved the feat 10 years back in 2009. Gauff defeated 19th seed Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-1, 6-1 in straight sets to become the first 15-year-old to compete in the main draw since Britain’s Robson.
In the first round of All England Championships, Gauff will take on fellow American and a legend of the game – Venus Williams. Gauff, who was busy online-shopping for dresses for a school gala function when she got the call eight days ago that she had received a wild card for Roehampton. She didn’t expect much at the start of the week but she cruised through her three matches without dropping a set, and losing no more than four games per set, en route.
“It feels great, I didn’t know that. The more you know, I guess,” says a smiling Gauff nonchalantly when told she had made history during a personal chat with official Wimbledon channel.
“I don’t know about any of the records I break until after, until somebody tells me. I just feel really blessed that I’m able to. I’m thankful that my parents never put any limitations on my goals, because sometimes parents can do that.
“My parents always told me to shoot as high as I wanted to. And I’m just happy that, not only did they accept my goals, they really sacrificed everything to make sure I get there.”
“I can do anything I put my mind to,” said Gauff, who was playing in qualifying on a wild card.