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Cori & # 39; Coco & # 39; Gauff continues Sensational Wimbledon Run: NPR



Cori "Coco" Gauff celebrates afterwards beat Slovenia's Polona Hercog on Friday.

Ben Curtis / AP


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Ben Curtis / AP

Cori "Coco" Gauff celebrates after beating Slovenia's Polona Hercog on Friday.

Ben Curtis / AP

Cori "Coco" Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis player who defeated Venus Williams in his first round match, has now advanced to 16 rounds at Wimbledon. She is the youngest player to promote this far in the tournament since 1991, when Jennifer Capriati made the semi-finals as a 15-year-old.

Gauff was in a set and two separate match points in his third round match against Polona Hercog in Slovenia on Friday, but she returned to win 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5.

At a press conference after the match, Gauff said she knew she could win even when she was down 2-5 in the second set.

"I was like," I can fight back – I just have to serve and break then, "said Gauff.

Gauff, the youngest woman to qualify for Wimbledon in the modern era, plays the loudest profiled battles in her career, she committed 43 undisturbed fights in Friday's match against Hercog, but she had only 18 undisturbed flaws in her first two games combined. lasted two hours and 47 minutes. "I'm young. I have a lot of energy and I am used to playing two games a day [in the junior tennis circuit]. "

Gauff's age means the Women & # 39; s Tennis Association (WTA) limits the number of events she can play. According to New The York Times introduced the WTA rules in 1994 in response to burnout battles that the young tennis stars are facing – including Capriati. A 15-year-old girl is typically allowed to play 10 professional tournaments in a year, but Gauff's success has given her a profit-based increase in Two more events.

On Monday, Gauff will face the No. 7 seed tournament, Simona Halep, who won last year's French Open title and has reached four Grand Slam finals, Gauff said she never played against Halep or practiced with her, but she is "familiar with how she plays from seeing her a lot."

Gauff, currently ranked 313 in the world, has been a dominant presence in junior tennis circuits. After her Junior French Open and in 2017, 13 years old, she became the youngest player to make the finals for Girls & # 39; Singles at the US Open.

Venus Williams had won two Wimbledon titles at the time Gauff was born. Gauff said to beat Williams who she considers an idol a true turning point for her in fame.

"It was pretty surreal how life changed in a few seconds," Gauff said.

But Gauff has long been aware of her tennis ambitions.

"I'll be the best ever," said Gauff as a 14-year-old on the show No Days Off . "I want to be better than Serena and I want the Grand Slam record one day."

Serena Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam titles and has an Open Era record, faces Carla Suarez Navarro in a round-of-16 match on Monday.

Friday's victory means that Gauff has now earned nearly $ 200,000 in Wimbledon winnings. When a reporter asked her how she planned to spend the money, she said she was not sure.

"I mean, I can't buy a car because I can't drive," Gauff said. "I hate spending money to be honest, so I don't really know." She said she might buy some hoodies from the Jaden Smith line of equipment.

The most unexpected attention Gauff said she had received came from Miss Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyoncé and Solange Knowles's mother.

"[She] informed me of Instagram and I screamed," said Gauff. "I hope Beyoncé saw it. I hope she told my daughter about me because I would love to go to a concert."


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