“I’m a fighter and I’ll never give up,” says Wimbledon star Cori “Coco” Gauff, after losing against Simona Halep.
All eyes have been on teen tennis talent Cori “Coco” Gauff at this year’s Wimbledon.
The American sports player was the youngest competitor to qualify for the main draw at the tournament, after winning three matches without losing a single set. She beat her idol, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the first round, before going on to defeat former Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round. Then, her third round against Polona Hercog was so competitive and long that Andy Murray and Serena Williams had to postpone their doubles match, which was due to be played on the same court that day.
Gauff emerged victorious against Hercog.
But on Monday (10 July), Gauff was defeated by former world No. 1 Simona Halep in straight sets during the fourth round, bringing her Wimbledon 2019 journey to an end.
“It was definitely the best week of my life,” she said at a BBC press conference.
“If somebody told me this three weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t believe it,” she added. “But I think just putting in the work definitely raised my confidence because I knew how hard I worked and I knew shots I could make and what was possible.
“I learned a lot. I learned how to play in front of a big crowd. I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I learned a lot and I’m really thankful for this experience.
“I hope they learned about me - that I’m a fighter and I’ll never give up. I hope they learned from me that anything is possible if you work hard, just continue to dream big.”
It’s this powerful, determined and positive attitude that has won Gauff some serious big name supporters.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently called Gauff “terrific” in a tweet after the winning game against Hercog.
Responding to the news, Gauff said in a press conference: “I was super excited. She’s one of my role models, so it was just cool to see that she knows I exist.”
She’s also received praise from Beyonce’s mum, Tina Knowles, who posted a video of one of Gauff’s games and captioned it: “Yesssss 15 years old! She won! Humble, Gives God the praise! Winning combo!”
And tennis icon Billie Jean King tweeted, “Your journey is far from over, @CocoGauff. Looking forward to watching your future successs on the court and off. #BigFan.”
What’s next for Coco Guaff?
Her first Wimbledon might be over, but this really is just the beginning for this exciting sports star. However, because of her relatively young age, Gauff can only play up to 10 tournaments this year. With five already under her belt, she will make reaching next month’s US Open her priority. Gauff has also spoken about going to college before, so she will no doubt be focusing on her studies.
Whatever she chooses to do next, we can’t wait to cheer her on again.