What You Need to Know: Cori 'Coco' Gauff

Who is Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis player who defeated Venus Williams?

At 15 years old, the athlete has been on the rise in the tennis world. Her first round match win at Wimbledon upset Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4.

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Here are three things to know about Cori:

1. She's been playing tennis since she was 7.

Cori wasn't alive when Venus Williams won her first two Wimbledon titles. She was born March 13, 2004, in Atlanta and goes by the nickname Coco. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, she was in the second grade when she showed an interest in tennis. Her family decided to commit itself to the sport full time so Cori could reach her full potential.

2. Her father is her coach.

Cori's mother, Candi Gauff, grew up doing gymnastics and track. She had to give up her gymnastics dream when her parents didn't let her travel for training, but she didn't want the same thing to happen to her daughter with tennis.

Corey Gauff, Cori's father, quit his job to devote himself to coaching Cori full time, but his experience with tennis was limited to his time playing the sport in middle school. The family moved from Atlanta to Florida and studied to learn the game. He sought help from elite coaches in Florida and Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams' coach, in France, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

He and Cori were heading to train at Mouratoglou's tennis academy near Nice, France, when they got a wild card offer into the qualifying Wimbledon tournament. Cori was ranked 313 in the world at the time.

3. Venus Williams and Serena Williams inspired her.

Venus Williams and Serena Williams were a rarity when they dominated the tennis world in the early 2000s. A sport that mostly consisted of white athletes, the Williams sisters, African American women from Compton, California, stood out for their skill and daring fashion choices.

Related: Cori 'Coco' Gauff, 15, defeats Venus Williams in Wimbledon upset

After her win, Cori revealed that Venus Williams gave her words of encouragement, telling her, "Congratulations. Keep going and good luck." 

"I just told her I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her, she's so inspiring. I've always wanted to tell her that but I've never had the guts to before." As for Serena Williams, Cori told BBC Sport she's "the reason why I play tennis."

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