5 things you may not know about 15-year-old Coco Gauff

Teenager Coco Gauff shocked defending champion Naomi Osaka to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The 15-year-old is no stranger to making headlines after reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon in July.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five things you may not know about the American.

Playing your idols

2020 Australian Open Package
Serena Williams was an inspiration to the young Coco Gauff (Adam Davy/PA)

Gauff was inspired to play tennis because of the Williams sisters, especially Serena. Between them, Serena and Venus had won 10 grand slam singles titles before Gauff was born. Serena has an extra connection to Gauff through her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, who has worked with the teenager. Serena said: “She’s so cool. She’s a great girl. I love her dad. They’re just really cool people.” Gauff has beaten Venus at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

Wimbledon break

Gauff – at 301 in the world standings – was not ranked high enough to get into qualifying at Wimbledon but she was given a wild card five days before her first match. At the time she found out, she was shopping online for a dress for a gala. Gauff had to stay up late to take a science test at 11pm UK time the night before her final-round qualifier. She went on to beat Greet Minnen 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour and the rest is history. After reaching the last 16 at the All England Club, Gauff also won her first WTA singles title at the 2019 Linz Open.

Star backer

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Add Roger Federer to the Coco Gauff fan squad.

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Gauff has been marked out for stardom for a while and is represented by the Team 8 management company, which was set up by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick. Federer said: “I’m super happy for her. I saw the last couple of games when she qualified. Obviously everybody was waiting to see what the draw was going to be like. It’s a great story. Coco is a nice girl, works really hard. I think she’s obviously got a wonderful future ahead of herself.”

Sweet music

The MET Gala 2018 – New York
Gauff is a huge fan of singer Jaden Smith (Ian West/PA)

Gauff looks up to Rihanna and Beyonce, but her favourite singer is Jaden Smith. She said Smith’s song ‘Icon’ was stuck in her head during her first-round qualifying match at Wimbledon. She said she listened to it, along with tracks by Kendrick Lamar and Miss Mulatto, before beating Venus Williams at SW19. And she told reporters at the All England Club to “please stream ERYS” – Smith’s new album.

Sporting pedigree

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Five – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Corey and Candi Gauff watch their daughter Cori Gauff at Wimbledon last summer (Steven Paston/PA)

Gauff comes from a strong sporting family. She is coached by her father Corey, who played basketball at Georgia State University. Gauff’s mother Candi, meanwhile, was a gymnast before competing in athletics at Florida State University. The family moved from Atlanta to Florida when Gauff was just seven to boost her tennis prospects.

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