Cori Gauff’s description of Wimbledon’s No. 1 Court on Monday was a way to distill a grand stage to its essence: just another place to play tennis. By extension, her opponent, Venus Williams a five-time Wimbledon champion and, perhaps more imposing, one of Gauff’s idols growing up was just another person across the net. Click here for more tennis news update.
Of course, Gauff is still growing up she’s just 15 which is a scary thought after her incredibly composed, 6-4, 6-4 win over her legendary idol. It was a transcendent moment that didn’t appear to impact the teen until Williams.
In the same way Gauff tried to remove history from one of the sport’s most hallowed courts, and eliminate the occasion from the day, an analyst could try to discount the chasm of experience that separated Gauff and Williams while dissecting this match. Venus came into Monday 268-74 at majors; Gauff had never played in a major tournament before. Venus, now 39, had already won four majors by 2004 the year Gauff was born. You could fill pages with statistics like these when a junior prospect faces an all-time great 24 years her senior.
Although the talk coming into this match was about the relationship between Gauff and Venus an extremely friendly one, along with Cori’s connection to Serena Williams (for more Serena Williams news) the gap in their ages, these were, at their essences, two tennis players. And on this day in southwest London, one of them was four aggregate games better than the other, over the course of two sets.
Like the Williamses, Gauff has been unequivocally supported by her family from the onset of her tennis journey; it’s a group effort, and it always will be. Both of her parents were athletes in their college year: her dad, Corey, was a basketball player at Georgia State; her mom, Candi, ran track at Florida State. And like Serena, Gauff is now part of another tennis family, the Mouratoglou Academy. The attention she’s receiving from this support system will help her in attempt to, as she put it to me two years ago at a junior tournament in Boca Raton, “be the greatest of all time.
When you see someone who’s exceptional, you see it straight away, because it’s not something you see very often, said Patrick Mouratoglou on ESPN. “She had this goal that was so strong.