14 Year Old Tennis Prodigy Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff Becomes the Youngest French Open Junior Champion in 25 Years

Over the last eight years, her development has thus far proven her to be a tennis phenom

Cori Gauff

Tennis Prodigy Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, who turned 14 in March, became the fifth youngest French Open junior champion in history on Saturday, edging out fellow American Caty McNally in a tense three-set showdown. Gauff defeated McNally 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) in an all-American final. She is the youngest champion since Martina Hingis won the title in 1993, 25 years ago.

Gauff lives and trains, and is home-schooled, in Delray Beach, Fla., with her parents, Corey and Candi, and her main coach, Gerard Loglo. If we want to look for signs of future success in her genes, we can find plenty of them. Corey played basketball at Georgia State University, and Candi was a gymnast and a track star—put those backgrounds together and you have a Kim Clijsters-level, Gael Monfils-level pedigree. But when her parents introduced her to the sport at 6, it wasn’t what she did athletically that convinced them to get her involved in tennis. It was the mentality she showed.

 

“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.’”

Over the last eight years, her development has thus far proven her to be a tennis phenom. In 2012, Gauff won the Little Mo 8-and-under nationals. In 2014, at 10, she won the USTA Clay Court 12s. In 2016, she won the Orange Bowl 12s. And last fall, at 13, she became the youngest finalist in the US Open girls’ event. While she lost 6-0, 6-2 to Amanda Anisimova, the 16-year-old needed 10 match points to close Gauff out.

She idolizes Serena Williams and has even worked regularly with Serena’s coach, but with her long 5’9” frame (at the age of 14), very long arms, and no-nonsense demeanor, she undoubtedly has the look of a young Venus Williams.

Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff is truly on the RYSE and is someone to keep your eye on as she continues to carve out her path towards even greater success.



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