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Youngest Ever to Qualify for Wimbledon: 'I'm Still in Shock'

15-year-old Cori 'Coco' Gauff didn't get a wild-card slot—she earned her place with qualifying win
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2019 12:58 PM CDT
Cori Gauff of the US shows her trophy after defeating compatriot Caty McNally in the girls' singles final match of the French Open tennis tournament on June 9, 2018, in Paris.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

(Newser) – When Venus Williams faces off in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday, she'll be a little more seasoned than her opponent—nearly a quarter of a century more. That's because the 39-year-old tennis star will be playing the youngest person ever to make the tournament, not through a wild card, but via a qualifying win, per CNN. Meet 15-year-old Florida native Cori "Coco" Gauff, who earned her spot on the roster Thursday by beating 21-year-old Belgian Greet Minnen with a 6-1, 6-1 win in the qualifying round, per the Washington Post. Gauff is ranked 130th.

This isn't Gauff's first eye-catching win: Yahoo Sports notes she was the youngest girl to make a US Open girls' final at age 13, and by 14 she'd earned the honor of being one of the youngest winners of the French Open girls championship. "I don't know about any of the records I break until after, until somebody tells me," she told reporters at Wimbledon. "I'm still in shock," she adds about her ascension to Wimbledon. "Playing against the top players in the field is going to be a different feel." One of Gauff's earliest tennis memories, by the way: watching Williams' sister Serena play at Wimbledon. (Read more Wimbledon stories.)

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