Cori 'Coco' Gauff Makes History At French Open Junior Championships

 

Photo credit: Amélie Laurin / FFT

Over the weekend, Cori "Coco" Gauff won her first Grand Slam title when she defeated Caty McNally 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) in the French Open junior finals on Saturday. 

The 14-year-old started the tournament as the youngest player in the singles draw, and ended as its youngest junior champion since Martina Hingis' second win in 1994. 

"Obviously I'm very excited and happy, because this is my first time," said Gauff. "It was a tough fight, but at the end it was worth it."

Since her parents introduced her to tennis at age 6, Gauff, who grew up in Delray Beach, Florida, has blazed quite a trail on the court. From winning the Little Mo 8-and-under nationals, the USTA Clay Court 12s, and the Orange Bowl 12s in 2012, 2014, and 2016 respectively, to making history last year as the youngest girl to reach the U.S. Open Junior Finals. She also regularly trains at an academy founded by Serena Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. 

"One thing we noticed was that she had a unique ability to concentrate for 15 to 20 minutes," Corey Gauff told ESPN.com. "As parents, we decided to make no-regrets moves: ‘Let's get her good coaching and a lot of feedback.'" 

With her first Grand Slam title under her belt, Gauff is also the fifth youngest French Open girls' singles champion, as well as the fifth U.S. girls' singles champion in the last seven majors. 

Congratulations, Cori! We're sure Althea Gibson, the first African American to win the French Open Singles Championship, is smiling down on you. 


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