Venus Williams was knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round on Monday in a stunning upset. Cori "Coco" Gauff, a 15-year-old phenom who grew up in Florida, beat the five-time Wimbledon champion in straight sets. Fans at home could not believe the "passing the torch" moment they witnessed.
She's fifteen years old.
She just beat five-time champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon.
Her name: Coco Gauff 🙌July 1, 2019
Gauff became the youngest player to win a Wimbledon match since Jennifer Capriati did it in 1991, notes CBS News. By comparison, the 39-year-old Williams was the oldest player in this year's tournament.
"It's the first time I have ever cried after winning a match," Gauff told BBC Sports after her stunning victory over one of her idols. "I don't know how to explain how I feel. I definitely had to tell myself to stay calm, I had to remind myself that the lines are the same lines, the courts are the same size and after every point I told myself 'stay calm.'"
Gauff said Williams and her sister, Serena Williams, were her inspirations for becoming a tennis player. The Atlanta native, who now lives in Florida, said Williams told her 'good luck.'
"I told her thanks for everything she did," Gauff told the BBC. "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."
On the road to Wimbledon, Gauff won the 2018 Junior French Open at Roland Garros. She also won the prestigious Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Plantation, Florida last year. Gauff also scored a sponsorship contract with New Balance. Forbes estimates she is poised to make $1 million in 2019.
"I never thought this would happen. I'm literally living my dream right now," Gauff told the BBC. "I'm really happy Wimbledon gave me the chance to play, I never thought I would get this far."
Fans at home were surprised by Gauff's victory, but also suggested the Williams sisters should be proud to have inspired a generation of young girls to be tennis players.
"Venus's legacy will live through this young woman. she should feel proud she has inspired other women specifically African American girls to take on the sport and continue to dominate," one fan wrote.
"if i were Venus or Serena i wouldn't be too upset about losing to some of the new gen players because some of these girls grew up watching Venus and Serena play and i'm sure they patterned their game after them. it's almost like a compliment," another wrote.
"Beating your idols is an admirable goal, and she's gotta be on cloud 9 right now," another fan tweeted. "Congrats young lady! You are going places. Keep it up!"
"AWESOME. Love the emotion! What a thrill it must of been to play her idol, much less beat her," another fan wrote.
Serena Williams' will start her 2019 Wimbledon tournament Tuesday in a match against Giulia Gatto-Monticone of Italy.
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