Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, Youngest Qualifying Wimbledon Player, Defeats Venus Williams

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By Julian Shen-Berro

Tennis prodigy Cori “Coco” Gauff, 15, beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in a historic victory on Monday.

Just last week, Gauff became the youngest tennis player in the Open era — which began in 1968, when tournaments first allowed professionals to compete against amateurs — to qualify for Wimbledon’s main event.

Gauff has praised Williams and her sister, Serena Williams, who has seven Wimbledon titles of her own, as her personal idols.

“I’ve been dreaming to share the court with Venus,” she said in an interview before the match.

Still in high school, Gauff is the 12th youngest player to ever play in the tournament. The other 11 entered through direct entry rather than qualifying.

“I’m still in shock,” she told a reporter after qualifying on Thursday. “Last year I did not think I would be here, so it means a lot.”

With her win, Gauff continues to make history.

“It’s crazy that people call me the next this, next that,” she told the BBC when asked about being seen as the future of tennis. “I’m just trying to be me.”

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