NEW YORK (AFP) — Four years after reaching Wimbledon as a teenager, Coco Gauff won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open on Saturday in front of her fans, a tennis player who grew up with Serre Inspired by Na Williams, she became a role model for tennis players.
New York has watched with excitement Gauff’s rise to stardom, the youngest American to win a Grand Slam since Serena in 1999.
Williams’ sister achieved the feat at the age of 17, defeating then world number one Martina Hingis, while Gauff also defeated her 2-6, 6-3, 6 -2 came back to defeat rising star Aryna Sabalenka in a stunning victory. The boss of the circuit.
“Serena is Serena,” Gauff concluded before the final. “She’s the GOAT. I wish I could do even half of what she does.”
It remains to be seen whether that success eases or intensifies the pressure to draw comparisons with Williams, who retired last year on the same stage with a record 23 major trophies.
Gauff does credit Serena as playing a big role in inspiring her to pick up a racket and pursue her dreams.
“He was able to change a predominantly white sport,” he recalled. “Before I was born, until Serena, there weren’t many (black tennis players). There weren’t any icons of the sport who looked like me.”
“So, growing up, I never thought I was different because the No. 1 player in the world was someone who looked like me,” she said.
Gauff rose to prominence in the tennis world with a stunning and symbolic victory over sister Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon 2019.
Since this achievement, Gough has been forging his own identity and becoming a recognized voice on sporting issues as well as the social and racial challenges facing his country.
hear a voice
Over the past two weeks at Flushing Meadows, celebrities like Barack and Michelle Obama came to cheer her on, showcasing her talent and explosiveness in tennis while also demonstrating her commitment to free speech.
The duel between Gauff and Karolina Muchova, competing for a long-awaited spot in the final, was abruptly interrupted for 49 minutes by protests in the stands against the use of fossil fuels.
In front of the media, Americans support the rights of activists to protest peacefully and support the cause.
“I think moments like this mark history,” he said. “If they feel they have to do that to make their voices heard, I’m not going to be angry about that.”
In 2022, he reached the Grand Slam final for the first time at the French Open, exposing the roots of his civic conscience.
“My dad told me since I was little that I could change the world with a racket,” she said.
He later spoke out against guns in the wake of the recent shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
“Sports gives you a platform to convey your message to more people. But for athletes’ voices to be heard, it is still necessary to appear in the media.” He emphasized.
Gauff herself knows what she’s talking about, as she’s been under this kind of exposure since defeating Venus Williams at the age of 15.
The success immediately labeled her the heir apparent, and the pressure mounted a few months later when she defeated defending champion Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open.
“Because she was winning at such a young age, everyone said she was going to win a Grand Slam right away. They made her look like she wasn’t,” recalled coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who was at Discovered her at his tennis academy at the age of ten.
“I’m ready to beat great players in one match. But in a whole Grand Slam tournament, it’s different,” Serena’s coach Mouratoglou said.
third in the world
The son of a basketball player father (he played at the University of Georgia) and a gymnast mother, Cori “Coco” Gauff grew up immersed in the sport.
She started playing tennis at the age of six and was amazed by the exploits of the Williams sisters.
Cori “Coco” Gauff was born on March 13, 2004 in Delray Beach (Florida) and by the age of 14 was already serving a ball at a speed of 190 km/h.
His world ranking climbed from No. 938 in July 2018 to No. 3 on Monday, winning six titles along the way.
Although she has made huge strides, especially on clay, fast courts remain her natural habitat, and at the U.S. Open she just registered her name for the first time alongside Venus and Serena.
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