After Coco Gauff defeats Jelena Ostapenko to reach US Open semi-finals, her rise from courtside spectator to professional tennis star amazes fans

During the late 2000s in Florida, swimmers and beachgoers thronged the sandy shores of the sunshine state to revel in its radiance. On Florida’s southeastern coast, seven-year-old Coco Gauff was busy dedicating her time to tennis. She was training in some of America’s finest tennis academies in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida. She was sparring with a tennis pro two hours a day, several days a week.

She was determined to emulate the success of her idols, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. They were black American icons for the young Gauff and she was developing a strict, meticulously arranged tennis regimen with her coaches akin to what Richard Williams had set with his tennis prodigy daughters. Watching her role models at a US Open match was her dream.

Coco Gauff’s rise from courtside observer to professional tennis player amazes fans

Coco Gauff’s aspiration of visiting Flushing Meadows to catch a glimpse of her favorite tennis players was eventually fulfilled. She can be seen below letting out a little jig as she savors the opportunity of a lifetime.

From being Serena Williams’ body double in a Delta Airline commercial to setting foot on the professional circuit in 2018, Coco Gauff has had fans captivated by her career trajectory. Her watershed moment came when she defeated her hero, Venus Williams, at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. The victory, achieved at the age of 15, put her in the spotlight and she has held the unofficial title of Next Big Thing ever since.

From her early successes to her resurgence on the hard-court stage in 2023 after encountering setbacks in the French Open and Wimbledon, the 19-year-old has gained many super fans along the way. Among her celebrity supports is Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, who had words of praise for Gauff. 

“She’s so emotional in a good way and she’s a champion,“ Butler said. “I love her that she’s from the city that I work in. I just love to be here to support her. I want her to win every single time, nothing against anybody else, but I’m a Coco fan.”

Fans are keeping a close eye on her run in the US Open, and many have taken to Twitter to heap praise on the young prodigy. 

“coco on fire! what a talent. Championship is coming.”, one fan said after watching her play.

Coco Gauff destroys Jelena Ostapenko to reach first US Open semi-final

Jelena Ostapenko may have had her hopes high after her comeback victory over world no.1 Iga Swiatek in the third round. She had defeated Coco Gauff in the Australian Open, earlier in the year. 

However, Gauff had no qualms in exacting revenge as she blazed past the Latvian 6-0, 6-2 in just 68 minutes to reach her first career semi-final at the US Open.

“I think this is one of the harder runs I’ve had to the quarter-final stage,” said Gauff. “Obviously never got to semis, but I don’t know, I just feel so fresh, to be honest. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been tricking myself or maybe when this is over I’m going to hit a wall. But I’m really proud of how I’m able to get through these matches.”

Since falling in the first round at Wimbledon, Gauff has now won 16 of her last 17 matches, with the biggest titles of her career in Washington and Cincinnati preceding her US Open run. Gauff is the first American teenager to reach this round of her home grand slam tournament since Serena Williams in 2001.

Coco Gauff is set to face Czech 10th seed Karolina Muchova, the same opponent she defeated in the finals of the Cincinnati Open. Muchova defeated Sorana Cîrstea 6-0, 6-3 in the quarter-finals. 

Coco Gauff’s run at the US Open has got fans excited. She is the first American teenager to reach the semi-finals of her home grand slam tournament since Serena Williams in 2001. Will Gauff defeat Muchova and have a final shot at glory? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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