The Wimbledon wunderkind reportedly completed a science test before taking on her idol.
Over the weekend, Florida teen Cori "Coco" Gauff became the most talked about woman in tennis when, on becoming the youngest player in the Open era to advance through qualifying to reach Wimbledon's main draw, she then knocked out her sporting idol and five-time winner Venus Williams.
The Delray Beach, Florida, resident, who's been touted as the next Serena Williams, told an interviewer for Wimbledon, "I'm still in shock," adding, "Playing against the top players in the field is going to be a different feel."
Coco's name has been heard repeatedly on the elite tennis scene for years, but when the Wimbledon draw was announced Friday, she was handed a first-round match against 39-year-old Venus at the All England Club, cementing her place on the world stage.
Gauff, who was born on March 13, 2004, secured her spot at the fabled tennis championships with a win in the final qualifying round at Roehampton on Thursday.
She will be the 12th youngest overall to play at the Wimbledon main draw, but the 11 others didn't make it through qualifying.
Played out on Court One, the teen beat her idol 6-4 6-4 on the first day of the tournament.
After the match, she revealed that she seized the opportunity to let her idol know exactly how she felt about her. “She [Williams] told me congratulations and keep going. She said good luck and I told her thanks for everything she did,” Gauff said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her – I told her she was so inspiring, and I’ve always wanted to tell her that, but I’ve never had the guts to before.”
It's understood that 15-year-old was online shopping when she found out that, in spite of her too-low ranking of 301, she could, in fact, compete at the world's most famous tennis tournament.
Before she even walked out on court she’d already cemented her place in history, as the youngest player to qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since the Open era began in 1968.
Wimbledon says it also doles out wild card slots to players whose world ranking isn't high enough to automatically qualify for the tournament, but who are noteworthy based on previous performances or their ability to "increase British interest."
She is now scheduled to face 30-year-old Russian Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round on Wednesday and solidify her status as a next-generation Williams sister.