BY Dollita Okine, 10:40am April 02, 2024,

Coco Gauff refurbishes tennis court she trained in as a child

Coco Gauff wins U.S. Open women’s singles final -- Photo Credit: Carine06

In celebration of her 2023 US Open title, tennis champion Coco Gauff recently opened a refurbished tennis court in Delray Beach, Florida, as part of the USTA’s $3 million US Open Legacy Initiative, which is devoted “to the refurbishment of tennis courts across the country.”

The 20-year-old chose the Delray Beach tennis courts because they have been fundamental to advancing her career since she moved there when she was 8 years old. 

Gauff told Today, “First, here is because I think of the court that made the impact to me in the community, put so much into me so I have to give back to the community.” She recounted her time training on the old courts with her father every morning at 8 a.m. 

During the unveiling ceremony, she said, “I am a product of the strong community and the village it took to get me to where I am now.” 

“These renovated courts at Pompey Park will provide aspiring athletes with the facilities they need to pursue their dreams and follow in Coco’s footsteps,” she added.

To officially open the courts, Gauff also played tennis with twenty children from the Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation, a local chapter of National Junior Tennis and Learning that offers kids tennis programs at no cost or reduced cost via the USTA Foundation.

Gauff remarked, “I strongly believe that tennis can continue to become a more accessible sport, and I would like to thank the USTA for continuing to commit to do so. Investing in public parks and our youth is very important. I had a huge dream and this city, my family, my community supported that, and now I’m in the position to help maybe spark that dream in another kid.

“Tennis has grown to be a little bit more accessible, but … I think we have to continue to make it accessible because you don’t know what dream one kid has, and I don’t want lack of resources to diminish or be the demise of somebody’s dream, so I think it’s very important that we have public courts. I grew up, I learned how to play tennis on public courts, I still sometimes practice on public courts. Now, my focus is to continue the growth and also the quality of public tennis courts.”

USTA president Brian Hainline, USTA executives, and others including Delray Beach mayor Shelly Petrolia, who referred to Gauff as “an inspiration… not just in Delray Beach, but across the world,” were present at the ceremony.

According to the USTA, Gauff personally selected three projects for the initiative, which is a part of the USTA’s larger efforts to promote tennis infrastructure through facility renovations. The other two projects, in Boston and New Orleans, are in the works. The Pompey Park courts were one of the projects.

The USTA’s Tennis Venue Services department is in charge of these initiatives and since 2005, the USTA has awarded more than $17 million in TVS grants.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 2, 2024


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