Since making her Grand Slam debut at the age of 17, Coco Gauff has cemented her name in tennis history, one bat swing at a time. In 2021, Gauff broke a 15-year record to become the youngest woman to reach a grand slam quarterfinal at the 2021 French Open.
Not only that, but she became the youngest American woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Venus Williams did it at the age of 17 at the 1997 U.S. Open. Gauff won her maiden WTA Tour singles championship at the 2019 Linz Open at the age of 15, becoming the Tour’s youngest singles champion since 2004. She rose to attention after defeating Williams in the first round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.
On Sunday, August 6, she won her most prestigious title so far by defeating Greek World No.9 Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in the women’s final to win the DC Open. The win is her fourth singles title and her first at a WTA-500 event. Also, it is her first career singles title in the United States. What is more, she is now the youngest women’s champion in tournament history.
“It means a lot to me really,” 19-year-old Gauff said in Washington. “Any American tournament I think is special, but I feel like even more here. I have played Cincinnati and I have played other tournaments in the U.S., even last year in San Jose when this was in San Jose, but I think that there is just something about D.C.”
Gauff was born on March 13, 2004, and had, therefore, not even been brought to the world when Williams, who would be her idol, reached her four of nine Wimbledon finals. But the African-American tennis prodigy rose in her field, winning several junior titles before making it to Wimbledon.
Her success on and off the tennis court has made her one of the most marketable sports stars coming of age and already earning millions. According to Forbes, she became the seventh highest-paid female athlete in the world in 2022.
Per Forbes’ calculation, she made $3.1 million on the court and $8 million off the court. The publication further noted that her off-court pay could be even higher if not for the slow-and-steady approach taken by her agent and her parents.
Gauff signed her first off-the-field contract with New Balance at age 14 and recently extended the deal believed to have come with a substantial pay raise, according to Forbes. The brand celebrated the extension by launching a new colourway of Gauff’s signature Coco CG1 performance tennis shoe dubbed “All in the Family.”