Nationwide — 15-year old Cori Gauff is making history as the youngest tennis player to ever qualify in Wimbledon. She is set to compete against one of her idols in the sport, Venus Williams.
After beating Greet Minnen in the final qualifying rounds with a score of 6-1, 6-1, Gauff became the youngest player to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon since 1968 when the Open Era began.
Cori Gauff, who is also known as Coco and is from South Florida, is currently the world number 301 in tennis. She has recently received a wildcard to get into qualifying and shown outstanding performance at Wimbledon wherein she reportedly defeated Aliona Bolsova, Valentyna Ivakhnenko, and Greet Minnen without losing a set.
Gauff is scheduled to compete against 39-year old Venus Williams in the first-round match. Williams, who is a five-time champion at the All England Club, has already won four of her seven major titles even before Gauff was born in 2004. But Gauff believes the 24-year age gap is not an issue.
“I don’t think of Venus as old — she’s still killing the game right now,” Gauff told BBC. “It’s crazy to show her longevity — that’s how I look at it. I hope I’m still playing and doing well at 39.”
Moreover, Gauff shared that the Williams sisters were some of the people she look up to growing up who inspired her to play the sport.
“Serena Williams has always been an idol and Venus… I mean, they’re the reason I wanted to pick up a tennis racket,” she told Wimbledon media. “I’ve met them both and they’re both super kind people. I’m just super happy and thankful that they chose to play tennis ’cause I’m sure they’ll dominate any sport they wanted to play.”
Gauff has just started making history and many have been waiting for what’s coming for her. She said, “It’s crazy that people call me the next this, next that. I’m just trying to be me.”