In one of the biggest upsets that Wimbledon has witnessed, Cori Gauff, known as Coco to her friends, an American whose age, 15, is less than the length of Venus Williams' career, knocked out the latter in the very first round of the grass court Grand Slam. So, who is this lady who has suddenly catapulted herself into the spotlight? Let's learn a few things about her.
To begin with, the teenage prodigy hails from Georgia but has been raised in Florida. She has good sporting pedigree. Her father had been a basketball player at university level and her mother had been a gymnast in Florida State University. The precocious talent had been identified as a potential future great even before her famous win over Venus.
The company that manages her – Team 8 – was created by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick. Federer commented on her before her match and expressed his delight at the progress being made by the rising star. "I'm super happy for her. I saw the last couple of games when she qualified. Obviously everybody was waiting to see what the draw was going to be like. I think that's fascinating, that she plays Venus now. It's a great story. Coco is a nice girl, works really hard. I think she's obviously got a wonderful future ahead of herself," the 20-time Grand Slam winner said.
Her victory over Venus had an irony to it. It were the Williams sisters that inspired Coco to take up tennis and aim to be a champion. She expressed her fanfare for Venus before facing her in the first round. "I have nothing to lose, playing against one of the greatest players of all time. I'm just super honoured that I get to share the court with her. Not many people get to play Wimbledon at 15 so I'm just happy that I'm one of them," the young lady remarked in an interview to American network NBC prior to her match.
Her excitement at having achieved a victory against one of her idols was fully expressed after the match. She told BBC: "Honestly I don't really know how to feel. That's the first time I have ever cried after winning a match. I don't even know how to explain how I feel. I had to tell myself to stay calm, I have never played on such a big court. I had to remind myself of the lines on the court. Everything around it might be bigger, but the lines are the same.
"She just told me congratulations and to keep going and good luck. I told her thank you for everything. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her, she is so inspiring and I always wanted to tell her that, even though I met her before I didn't have the guts to tell her then."
Even the most successful tennis player of the current generation and younger sister of Venus, Serena Williams expressed her admiration for the teenager before the match. "She's so cool. She's a great girl. I love her dad. They're just really cool people. It's a great moment for her and for Venus. She's playing against a player that actually reminds me of Venus. I think I might, might watch. I always get nervous watching Venus."