PRODIGIOUS: Coco Gauff Outsines Venus and Serena Williams in Becoming Youngest American in a Stunning Record

Published 05/25/2021, 5:54 AM EDT
Coco Gauff of the United States celebrates after winning match point during her Women’s Singles third round match against Naomi Osaka of Japan day five of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Coco Gauff had suffered a noticeable dip in her fortunes on court since the high of taking down five-time champion Venus Williams and reaching the fourth round of 2019 Wimbledon Championships, her debut Grand Slam at 15, and that too on a wildcard.

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However, she is running up the tennis charts again, courtesy of a phenomenal season on clay which saw her reach the quarter-finals and semifinals at Charleston and Rome before lifting her second career singles Tour title at WTA Parma.

Coco Gauff has left Serena and Venus Williams behind in securing the highest ranking on Top-30 debut

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While the title win would have lifted her confidence no end ahead of Roland-Garros, Gauff, who turned 17 this year, has also taken a major career leap in terms of her rankings.

The American starlet has broken into the Top-30 in singles, the youngest American woman since Serena Williams to have done so.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion did it at the age of 16 years and 184 days on March 30, 1998.

Gauff was announced as the new World No.25 at 17 years and 57 days.

While Serena broke into the Top-30 a year younger than Gauff, the 17-year-old has outpaced the Williams sisters in terms of rankings inside the Top-30.

Serena debuted at No.30 in 1999, while her elder sibling, Venus Williams, was ranked 27th at 17 years and 82 days in September 1997.

Gauff lifted her second Tour title in Parma after reaching Rome SF

Gauff seemed to be going strong at Charleston till she fell to a straight-set defeat to Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the last eight.

Recovering from an opening-round exit at Madrid Open, the 17-year-old reached the Rome quarter-final on the back of impressive takedowns of reigning Madrid champion Aryna Sabalenka and Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari.

However, she was lucky to progress to the semi-final as she was trailing by a set and a game in the second against Ashleigh Barty when the current World No.1 pulled out of the last-four tie with an injury.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 27, 2020 Coco Gauff of the U.S. in action during her first round match against Britain’s Johanna Konta REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

On the cusp of reaching her first Masters 1000 final in Rome, Gauff went down in straight sets to eventual champion Iga Swiatek in the semis.

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However, there was nothing fortuitous in the manner she out-fought Czech star Katerina Siniakova, who had upset Serena earlier in the tournament, to reach the Parma final.

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Gauff also won the doubles championship with compatriot Caty McNally, making it a memorable tournament double in the Italian city.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1016 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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