Cori Gauff to Venus Williams After Defeating Her at Wimbledon: ‘I Wouldn’t Be Here Without You’

Cori “Coco” Gauff, a 15-year-old Atlanta native has caused one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history in a match against one of her idols.

Gauff defeated Venus Williams (6-4, 6-4) in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday. Williams, age 39, has been part of the All England Club family for over 20 years, having won the singles title five times. Gauff had never played in a major tournament before.

Last week, Cori Gauff made history as the youngest player to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw in the professional era. Gauff was handed a first-round match against Venus Williams when the Wimbledon draw was announced on Friday.

Related Story: Cori Gauff, Age 15, Youngest Wimbledon Qualifier, Says Williams Sisters the Reason ‘I Wanted to Pick Up a Tennis Racket’

The Generation Z tennis prodigy told BBC: “It’s the first time I have ever cried after winning a match. I don’t know how to explain how I feel.”

“I definitely had to tell myself to stay calm, I had to remind myself that the lines are the same lines, the courts are the same size and, after every point, I told myself ‘stay calm’.”

Gauff said that Williams congratulated her.

Cori Gauff, who currently lives in Delray Beach, Fla., has said that both Serena and Venus Williams are her idols and inspired her to play tennis. As with the Williams sisters, her parents, Corey and Candi Gauff, are an integral part of her tennis career.

“The Williams family, in general, made me realize that it was possible,” Corey Gauff, who remains his daughter’s primary coach, told The New York Times. “There wasn’t a lot of color in the sport, and particularly in our country, African-American girls weren’t playing tennis.”

Gauff will play Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round of the tournament.

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