Coco Gauff follows Serena Williams footsteps, makes top-10 debut at same age


Coco Gauff, 18, will break into the top 10 WTA players in the world after her US Open run at the same age Serena Williams did during her era. Serena broke into top 10 in 1999, the year when she won her first US Open. Serena ended that year being ranked number 4 in the world. “The youngest player in 16 years to break into the singles Top 10. Welcome to the club, Coco Gauff!” wrote WTA. The youngest player in 16 years to break into the singles Top 10 👋 Welcome to the club, @CocoGauff! — wta (@WTA) September 9, 2022 According to the WTA, Coco Gauff, who is 18 years and 183 days old, will be the youngest woman to enter the Top 10 since 17-year-old Nicole Vaidisova in 2006. Coco Gauff looks up to Serena Williams Gauff hopes to follow in the footsteps of Serena and Venus Williams and be the next great role model for kids around the world. "I think heroes are important. You look at Serena Williams and Venus Williams, their situation they came through, not having as much money financially and coming through a tough neighborhood in Compton, and me, I know I live a better life than they probably did in that aspect better, quote, unquote," Gauff said, via Sportskeeda. "I think for me, even knowing that, it made me feel that I could do it. So I hope that somebody can look at me and say that I feel like I can do it because she did it. You know, you have these heroes like LeBron James, Allyson Felix, the list goes on, Simone Biles, you have these heroes living their lives and you can't imagine how inspiring it is to see that." In an interview for ESPN, Gauff said that she’s inspired by Serena. "I think it's just the way that she handles herself. She never puts herself down. I love that she always elevates herself," Gauff explained. "Sometimes being a woman, a black woman in the world, you kind of settle for less. I feel like Serena taught me that, from watching her. She never settled for less. I can't remember a moment in her career or life that she settled for less. I think that's something I took from. As a person, I'm growing into being an adult and learning how to handle things now with the media and tennis and everything, I'm trying to learn to not settle for less."