Coco Gauff Reveals Who Inspired Her to Defeat Venus Williams at Wimbledon

Published 02/12/2021, 5:00 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 01: Cori Gauff of the United States shakes hands at the net with Venus Williams of The United States after her Ladies’ Singles first round match against Venus Williams of The United States during Day one of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


American tennis player Coco Gauff took the world by surprise with her splendid display of tennis at Wimbledon in 2019. The highlight of the tournament was when the young talent bested the 5-time Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams, in straight sets. Gauff went as far as the 4th round of the event before losing to eventual champion, Simona Halep. 

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Recently, the 16-year-old teenager spoke about the mindset and belief she developed in order to achieve that great feat. She was thankful for the opportunity she received to compete at such a grand stage against one of the best players in the history of the game. Coco Gauff was 15 years of age during Wimbledon that season. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Cori Gauff of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Coco Gauff: “Mary Joe Fernandez had an incredible career”

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Gauff revealed the person who inspired her and stated, “I remember the night before I talked to another tennis player. She’s retired now, but her name is Mary Joe Fernández and she had a really incredible career.

“I remember before I talked to her I was just grateful for the opportunity and I wanted to see how well I could do and she completely changed my mindset.”

The young American star felt a sense of relief once the match was over. She was happy to finish it in the manner she wished to. Many-a-times, a low-ranked player does a blunder and fails to cross the final hurdle.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Italy’s Sara Errani REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Reflecting on that, Coco added, “She was like, “No, you have to go into this match thinking that you can win and believing that you can win. I was like, “Yeah, you’re right. I was really just happy to play, but now I actually have to think about winning.

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“After the match, I was just relieved that it was over because I see a lot of times on tv when the underdog is so close to beating the person whose supposed to win and at the last second, they slip up. I didn’t want to be that story.”

Coco Gauff and Venus Williams were part of the season’s first Grand Slam event, the Australian Open 2021. Unfortunately, they both made early exits and will look to bounce back sooner rather than later.

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Rohan Kollare

699 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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