14-year-old CoCo Gauff wants to be the next star in pro tennis
1 year ago WBRZ 0
BATON ROUGE- Coming off of a French Open Junior title, Cori “Coco” Gauff has aspirations of being one of the greats.
Originally from Florida, Gauff has competed in junior events around the world, but this week is in baton rouge, she is competing in her second pro tournament of her career at 14 years old.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on getting better and getting used to playing on the pro level,” said Gauff. “Every match I win I’m happy, because I’ve never played on this level before.”
“My wife tries to make me keep that in perspective, but I just look at her like physically she is as big as any of the other girls in this tournament. Mentally they are obviously much more mature, and have a lot more experience,” said her father and coach Corey Gauff.
Coached by her father, Coco finds herself across the net from athletes with more than double her experience, but having her dad in her corner makes the challenge a little less daunting.
“Sometimes we argue because not everyone has a coach you go home with, so sometimes we argue, but it has been pretty fun,” said Coco.
“I just try to communicate with her as dad and coach and say look, a layup is a layup. Whether you’re a 14 year old or a 30 year old. If it is a shot that is in your strike zone, you should make the shot you know,” said Corey.
Gauff says competing in this pro circuit tournament is a chance to earn points towards receiving a world ranking, but it doesn’t hurt to see her Louisiana family from down the Bayou.
“They got a lot of cousin’s that are about her age, so she’s playing in this adult tournament but she is running around playing tag in the parking lot after the game is over,” said Corey.
Up next for Gauff, she heads to London for the Wimbledon Junior Championships.