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Cori Gauff

tennis player

Nickname: Coco
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Bio Cori "Coco" Gauff (born March 13, 2004) is an American professional tennis player. She has won seven WTA Tour singles titles, including a major at the 2023 US Open, and eight doubles titles. Gauff has career-high rankings of world No. 3 in singles and of world No. 1 in doubles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

Born to parents with NCAA Division I collegiate backgrounds in basketball and track and field, Gauff became the No. 1 junior in the world after winning the junior 2018 French Open singles title and also won a junior major doubles title at the 2018 US Open.

Gauff made her WTA Tour debut in March 2019 at the Miami Open. She received a wildcard into the qualifying draw at the 2019 Wimbledon, where she became the youngest player in the tournament's history to qualify for the main draw. There, she rose to prominence with a win over former world No. 1 and seven-time major singles champion Venus Williams in the opening round, going on to reach the fourth round. She won her first WTA Tour singles title at the 2019 Linz Open at the age of 15 years and seven months, making her the youngest singles titlist on the Tour since 2004. In 2021, she reached her first major final in women's doubles at the US Open, and reached her first major singles final at the 2022 French Open. In 2023, she won her first WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Masters and her first major singles title at the US Open.

Gauff was born to Candi (née Odom) and Corey Gauff, both from Delray Beach, Florida. She has two younger brothers. Her father played college basketball at Georgia State University and later worked as a health care executive. Her mother was a track and field athlete at Florida State University and worked as an educator. Gauff lived her early years in Atlanta. She began playing tennis at the age of six. When she was seven, her family moved back to Delray Beach to have better training opportunities. She worked with Gerard Loglo at the New Generation Tennis Academy starting from the age of eight.

Gauff recalled, "I wasn't much of a team person. I loved tennis. I was so-so about it in the beginning because when I was younger I didn't want to practice at all. I just wanted to play with my friends. When I turned eight, that was when I played 'Little Mo' and after that I decided to do that for the rest of my life."

Gauff's parents gave up their careers to focus on training their daughter. Her father later became her primary coach, while her mother oversaw her homeschooling. Her father had limited experience playing tennis growing up. At the age of 10, Gauff began to train at the Mouratoglou Academy in France run by Patrick Mouratoglou, longtime coach of Serena Williams. Mouratoglou commented, "I'll always remember the first time I saw Coco. She came over to the Mouratoglou Academy in 2014 to try out and she impressed me with her determination, athleticism and fighting spirit.... When she looks at you and tells you she will be number one, you can only believe it." He helped sponsor Gauff through his Champ'Seed foundation, which he created to provide funding for talented juniors who did not have the financial resources to afford high-level training.

Gauff won the USTA Clay Court National 12-and-under title at the age of 10 years and three months – to become the youngest champion in the tournament's history.

Gauff is a former world No. 1 junior. She entered the prestigious Les Petits As 14-and-under tournament in 2016 at age 12 and made it to the semifinals. Gauff began playing on the ITF Junior Circuit at the age of 13, skipping directly to the highest-level Grade A and Grade 1 tournaments. She finished runner-up to Jaimee Fourlis in her third career event, the Grade 1 Prince George's County Junior Tennis Championships in Maryland. At her next event, Gauff made her junior Grand Slam debut at the 2017 US Open and finished runner-up to Amanda Anisimova. Gauff did not drop a set before the final in either tournament. She became the youngest girls' singles finalist in US Open history.

After beginning 2018 with a semifinal at the Grade 1 Traralgon Junior International in Australia, Gauff lost her opening round match at the Australian Open. She did not enter another tournament in singles until the French, where she won her first career junior Grand Slam tournament title. She did not drop a set until the final, where she came from behind to defeat McNally in three sets. With the title, Gauff became the fifth youngest girls' singles champion in French Open history. A month later, following another final win against McNally at the Grade 1 Junior International Roehampton, she became the No. 1 junior in the world.

Gauff reached the quarterfinals in singles at the final two Grand Slam tournaments of the year. She fared better in doubles at both tournaments, reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon with partner María Lourdes Carlé and winning her first junior Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open with McNally. Gauff and McNally defeated compatriots Hailey Baptiste and Dalayna Hewitt in the final, all in straight sets. In September 2018, Gauff represented the United States at the Junior Fed Cup with Alexa Noel and Connie Ma. The team reached the final against Ukraine. After Gauff won her singles rubber and Noel lost hers, Gauff and Noel won the Junior Fed Cup by defeating Lyubov Kostenko and Dasha Lopatetskaya 11–9 in a match tiebreak. Gauff finished the year with another Grade A title in singles at the Orange Bowl. She ended the season ranked world No. 2 behind Clara Burel.

Gauff made her debut on the ITF Women's Circuit in May 2018 at the age of 14 as a qualifier in the $25K event at Osprey, where she won her first professional match. She received a wildcard into qualifying at the US Open, but lost her opening match five months after turning 14 years old. In her first 2019 tournament, she finished runner-up in doubles at the $100K Midland Tennis Classic alongside Ann Li. Two weeks later, Gauff played her next event at the $25K level in Surprise and reached the finals in both singles and doubles. She finished runner-up in singles and won her first WTA title in doubles alongside Paige Hourigan. In March, at the Miami Open she recorded her first WTA match win against Caty McNally.

Gauff lost the second round of qualifying at the French Open. At Wimbledon, she defeated Aliona Bolsova and Greet Minnen. Gauff became the youngest player to reach the main draw at Wimbledon by qualifying in the Open Era at the age of 15 years and three months. In her main draw debut, she upset five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in straight sets. Gauff won over Magdaléna Rybáriková and No. 60 Polona Hercog, saving two match points against Hercog. The hype surrounding Gauff's first-round match win led to her third rounder moving to Centre Court. She was eliminated with a fourth-round loss to eventual champion Simona Halep. All four of Gauff's matches were most-watched matches on ESPN on their respective days during the first week of coverage. With this performance, she rose to world No. 141.

Gauff played in one US Open Series tournament at the Washington Open, where she qualified for the main draw but lost in the first round. She entered the doubles event with McNally and defeated Fanny Stollár and Maria Sanchez in the final for their first career WTA title in their first joint WTA. At the US Open, Gauff wild-carded into the singles and doubles main draws. She continued her Grand Slam success in singles with two three-set wins over Anastasia Potapova and Tímea Babos, both on Louis Armstrong. She was defeated in the third round by world No. 1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka. In doubles, Gauff and McNally won two matches, including an upset over ninth seeds Nicole Melichar and Květa Peschke. They lost in the third round to eventual runners-up Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka. Although Gauff lost in qualifying at the Linz Open, she entered the main draw as a lucky loser and won the title, notably upsetting top seed Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals for her first top-10 victory. She defeated Jeļena Ostapenko in the final to become the youngest WTA player to win a singles title since 2004. With this title as well as a semifinal in doubles with McNally, Gauff made her top-100 debuts in both the WTA singles and doubles rankings. Gauff and McNally ended their year with a second WTA doubles title at the Luxembourg Open over Kaitlyn Christian and Alexa Guarachi.

Starting the year 2020 ranked No. 67, Gauff at the Auckland Open defeated Viktoria Kuzmova before losing to Laura Siegemund in the second round. Playing doubles with McNally, Gauff reached the semifinals.

At the Australian Open, Gauff defeated Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round and Sorana Cîrstea in the second round, making it three straight Grand Slams where she reached the third round. She defeated defending champion Osaka in the third, becoming the youngest player to defeat a top-5 player since Jennifer Capriati beat Gabriela Sabatini at the 1991 US Open. In the fourth round, she lost to the eventual champion, Sofia Kenin. In doubles, Gauff and McNally recorded their best result in a Grand Slam championship to date, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to second seeds and eventual champions, Kristina Mladenovic and Tímea Babos.

Gauff beat two top-50 players at the Lexington Challenger before losing in straight sets to world No. 49, Jennifer Brady. At the Western and Southern Open, played in New York, Gauff lost in the first round to world No. 21, Maria Sakkari. At the US Open, Gauff was defeated in the first round by Anastasija Sevastova.

Gauff, ranked 53, beat world No. 34, Ons Jabeur, in the first round of the Italian Open before losing to two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza. At the French Open, Gauff defeated the ninth seed and world No. 13, Johanna Konta, in the first round, but went on to lose to eventual quarterfinalist Martina Trevisan in a second-round match in which Gauff hit 19 double faults. At the Ostrava Open, she qualified for the main draw and was defeated by world No. 12, Aryna Sabalenka, in the second round.

Starting the 2021 year ranked No. 48, in the Abu Dhabi Open, she beat Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri before falling in the next round to Maria Sakkari. At the Australian Open, in singles, Gauff again beat Teichmann in the first round, but fell in the round of 64 to the fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, in straight sets. In doubles, she and McNally failed to Demi Schuurs and Nicole Melichar in the quarterfinals.

At Adelaide, she failed to second seeded Belinda Bencic. In doubles, she partnered with Canadian Sharon Fichman, and they bowed out in the first round to Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai. This run brought her to a then-career-high of No. 38 in singles. After the Dubai Championships, she reaches a career high of No. 35 in singles.

In the Miami Open, she played her first WTA 1000 event while seeded (as the 31st). In May, Gauff reached the first semifinal at a WTA 1000 in her career at the Italian Open due to then-No. 1, Barty, retiring with a right arm injury in their quarterfinal match. As a result, she entered top 30 for the first time. She then lost to the eventual champion, Iga Świątek.

Gauff won her second singles and third doubles (with McNally) titles at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma. She became the youngest player to win both the singles and doubles titles at an event since Maria Sharapova won both titles at the 2004 Birmingham Classic. Gauff thus rose to new career-high rankings of world No. 25 in singles and No. 41 in doubles. She became the youngest American to make her top 25 debut in nearly 23 years (since Serena Williams, June 8, 1998).

Seeded 24th at the French Open (her first time being seeded at a Grand Slam), she beat Aleksandra Krunić and Wang Qiang in straight sets, received a walkover when leading one set to love against 13th seed and Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady, and beat 25th seed Ons Jabeur in just 53 minutes to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. As a result, she became the youngest female player (17 years, three months) to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Nicole Vaidišová at the 2006 French Open, the youngest American to reach a quarterfinal at Roland Garros since Jennifer Capriati in 1993 and the youngest American to reach the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam since Venus Williams reached the 1997 US Open final. Subsequently, Gauff was eliminated after losing in straight sets to the eventual champion, unseeded Barbora Krejčíková. As a result, she reached a new career-high of No. 23 in June 2021.

At Wimbledon, Gauff reached the fourth round for a second consecutive time defeating Elena Vesnina in straight sets in 70 minutes, and Kaja Juvan in straight sets in the third round. Gauff lost her next match to Angelique Kerber in straight sets, eliminating her from the tournament. She also reached the third round in doubles with Caty McNally and as a result entered the top 40 in the doubles rankings at No. 38 on July 12, 2021.

At 17 years old, she was selected for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo becoming the second youngest American player after Jennifer Capriati competed at 16 and the youngest Olympic tennis player since Mario Ančić in 2000. However, she tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw.

At the Cincinnati Open, Gauff reached the second round and lost to second seed, and world No. 2, Naomi Osaka.

At the US Open, Gauff beat Magda Linette in the first round, before falling to Sloane Stephens in the next. In the women's doubles, Gauff and McNally stormed into their first Grand Slam semifinal without dropping a set and in the finals, they lost to Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai.

In 2022, she was seeded 18th at the Australian Open, Gauff lost in the first round against Wang Qiang in straight sets.

In February, Gauff reached the quarterfinals at the Qatar Open by defeating Shelby Rogers, Caroline Garcia and third seed Paula Badosa. In the quarterfinals, Gauff lost to sixth seed Maria Sakkari. In doubles, Gauff paired with Jessica Pegula to win her first WTA 1000 doubles title, beating third-seeded pair of Veronika Kudermetova and Elise Mertens in the final. With the win, she climbed to a career-high No. 10 in the doubles rankings on February 28, 2022.

Gauff reached her first major singles final at the French Open, defeating Rebecca Marino, Alison Van Uytvanck, Kaia Kanepi, 31st seed Elise Mertens, Sloane Stephens, and Martina Trevisan before losing to Iga Świątek in straight sets. She reached the final in doubles with Jessica Pegula where they were defeated by Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. As a result, she secured a new career-high of world No. 13 in singles and the top 5 in doubles.

After winning her first two matches at Wimbledon Championships as the 11th seed against unseeded Romanians Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Mihaela Buzărnescu, Gauff lost in the third round to 20th Amanda Anisimova in three sets. As a result, she reached a new career-high ranking of world No. 11, on July 11, 2022.

Seeded sixth at the Silicon Valley Classic, she reached the quarterfinals defeating Anhelina Kalinina in the first round, and next Naomi Osaka who saved seven match points. In her quarterfinal match, she struggled with her serve and lost in straight sets to Paula Badosa.

At the Canadian Open, she became the youngest player to reach back-to-back quarterfinals in Canada since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 and 1991. She beat sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka, a day after ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, winning both matches in a third-set tiebreak. She lost to eventual champion Simona Halep, in straight sets. Seeded third in doubles at the same tournament she reached the semifinals with Pegula defeating fifth seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs. Next they defeated Madison Keys/Sania Mirza in the semifinals and Nicole Melichar/Ellen Perez in the final to win their second WTA 1000 title together. As a result, Gauff became the No. 1 doubles player in the world.

At the US Open, she reached the quarterfinals of this major for the first time with wins over 20th seed Madison Keys and Zhang Shuai becoming the youngest American woman to achieve this feat since 2009, when Melanie Oudin was 17. As a result, she guaranteed herself a top 10 debut in the singles rankings at world No. 8 after the tournament. Subsequently, Gauff was defeated by Caroline Garcia, in straight sets. Seeded second in doubles, Gauff and partner Pegula were defeated in the first round by Leylah Fernandez and Daria Saville.

In October, Gauff became the youngest player in singles since Maria Sharapova in 2005 to qualify for the year-end WTA Finals championships. She and partner Jessica Pegula also both qualified for the doubles' championships. Gauff and Pegula are the first Americans since Serena and Venus Williams in 2009 to qualify for both the singles and doubles year-end championships.

Gauff started her 2023 season at the Auckland Open, where she defeated Rebeka Masarova in the final in straight sets. At the 2023 Australian Open, Gauff advanced to the fourth round, where she lost to Jeļena Ostapenko in straight sets. At the 2023 Qatar Total Open, Gauff reached the quarterfinals after defeating two-time champion Petra Kvitová in the second round. At the same tournament in doubles, Gauff and Jessica Pegula successfully defended their title, defeating Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jeļena Ostapenko in a three-set match. At the 2023 Dubai Tennis Championships, Gauff reached the semifinals by defeating Madison Keys in the quarterfinals, before losing to Iga Świątek. At Indian Wells, Gauff lost in the quarterfinals to second seed and eventual runner-up Aryna Sabalenka. In Miami, Gauff lost against 27th seed Anastasia Potapova in the third round. In doubles at the same tournament, Gauff won her fifth overall and third WTA 1000 team title with her partner Jessica Pegula. They became the first all-American duo to win the Miami Open doubles title in 22 years, defeating Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend in the final.

In August, Gauff won the Washington Open, beating Maria Sakkari in the final. It was Gauff's first WTA 500 singles title, and her biggest singles title to date. She became the first teenager to win the tournament. Gauff won her first WTA 1000 title at the 2023 Cincinnati Open, defeating world No. 1 Iga Świątek in the semifinals and world No. 10 Karolina Muchova in the finals.

In September, Gauff won the 2023 US Open, her first major singles title, beating world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in three sets and becoming the first American teenager to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999. As a result, she reached world No. 3 in the rankings on 11 September 2023.

Gauff and Pegula returned to the World No. 1 doubles ranking on October 23, 2023 after qualifying for the 2023 WTA Finals as a pair and also individually, becoming the first players to qualify in both disciplines in back-to-back years since Sara Errani in 2012-13.
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