Cori “Coco” Gauff’s impressive Wimbledon debut may have reached its end, but the 15-year-old tennis phenom is just getting started.
Gauff, who shocked fans by beating her idol Venus Williams in the first round of women’s singles, said the London tournament has been full of ups and downs, but will certainly remain memorable.
“To be honest I feel so blessed that all of this has happened,” she said Tuesday on Good Morning America. “This has all been a surprise.”
The Florida high school student entered the tournament as a wildcard and continued on, even coming from a set and 5-2 down to beat Polona Hercog of Slovenia in a thrilling match.
“This tournament has really been a roller coaster,” she said.
The teen also appeared on the Today show Tuesday and spoke of how life has flipped upside down since losing in the fourth round on Monday to Simona Halep.
“I woke up and I’m still living a dream even though I’m walking on the street, people are asking me for pictures,” she said. “So that’s just really crazy and I don’t think I’ll ever believe it, to be honest.”
Of her win over Williams, Gauff said she was “shocked” to learn she’d be facing the star and had to double-check with the Wimbledon app before she believed it.
“A lot of people say, ‘Were you nervous? Were you mad?’ ” she recalled. “And I was like, ‘No, I’m super excited.’ Like, it was always a dream of mine to play Venus and I never thought it would be soon … The night before I kind of planned out what I was going to say [to her afterward] but I didn’t think I would be on the winning end to be honest.”
While Gauff’s star is certainly on the rise, so is that of her parents, Corey and Candi Gauff, who have gone viral in recent days thanks to their enthusiastic crowd reactions.
“It’s kind of weird, because my mom, she’s never really like that,” Gauff said. “[It’s like], ‘What possessed you to even do that?’ It looks so funny … I don’t know if she likes [the attention] or not but I’m definitely loving it.”
While Gauff, the youngest player to ever qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon, certainly has many years of play ahead of her, she’s keeping focused on one specific goal: being “the greatest.”
“A lot of people try to say, ‘Oh, that won’t happen,’ but I really do believe that you should really dream high and dream to the highest possibility because anything is possible,” she said.
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