In a major shocker, 15-year old debutant Cori Gauff knocked out Venus Williams in the Qualifier at the Wimbledon by 6-4 6-4, causing a major upset to the five-time champion. Gauff, seeded at 313, beat Venus Williams in straight sets to clinch the match and was left in tears after her victory over the World number 44.
Gauff, nicknamed “Coco,” is the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon. She’s also the youngest woman to win a Wimbledon match since 1991. Her tennis career began at age eight and at the age of 13, she was the youngest to reach the U.S. Open girl’s final and at the age of 15, she became the youngest female to win a qualifying match in the French Open.
“This is the first time I ever cried after winning a match,” Gauff told the BBC after her win. “I never thought this would happen. I don’t know how to explain it. I’m literally living my dream. Not many people get to say that", she added.
Gauff idolized the Williams sisters, whom her parents coached and she has trained at the Mouratoglou Academy in France since she was 10. She is expected to earn $1 million this year in sponsorships from New Balance, racket maker Head and the pasta company Barilla.
“I definitely had to tell myself to stay calm during the match. I never played on a court that’s so big,” Gauff said in a BBC interview after the match. “I had to remind myself that the lines are the same size as any other court", she said.
Venus Williams had begun her professional career 10 years before Gauff was born and had won four world titles before Gauff hit the court.