ESPN Senior Writer Alyssa Roenigk on Gauff’s Rise in Professional Tennis & Perspective for the Future
Written & Video Story Now Available Across ESPN’s Digital Platforms; SportsCenter Debut on Thursday
The latest ESPN Cover Story featuring tennis star and world No. 12 Coco Gauff debuts today across the network’s digital, linear and social platforms. ESPN Cover Story is the sports fan’s monthly ticket to the biggest stories on the most captivating athletes – told with inside access, bold reporting and unforgettable visuals.
Corey and Candi Gauff – college athletes themselves – didn’t plan to raise a professional athlete, but they encouraged their daughter to try lots of sports to see what fit. Tennis spoke to Gauff. When she was six, Corey realized he didn’t know enough about the sport to be a tennis dad at the top levels. The in-depth research that followed led to a 10-year plan and the beginning of a journey.
For Gauff, there were only two players who mattered: Venus and Serena Williams. She hung posters of the sisters on her wall, modeled her shots off theirs and told anyone who asked that, yes, she wanted to be “the next Serena.” She even played Serena’s body double in a commercial when she was about nine.
In 2018, she won her first junior Grand Slam title at the French Open. She became the youngest junior girl’s No. 1 in history and signed three major endorsement deals. Then, in the first round at Wimbledon, she got the draw of her dreams against her idol, Venus, and won. She was on the map in a big way.
At 18, Gauff is approaching the next stage in her career and reaching for greatness, and her first Grand Slam title, on her own terms. She has lofty goals, but she knows now that it is unrealistic and unfair to define her success against the greatest women to play the game. She knows she has the potential to be great, and she wants to enjoy the pursuit of her goals as much as she enjoys accomplishing them.
For this ESPN Cover Story, senior writer Alyssa Roenigk talks with Gauff about her journey in professional tennis as well as her life off the court, exploring her perspective on success, expectations and what comes next.
The ESPN Cover Story: Coco Gauff video feature will air across SportsCenter beginning Thursday, along with a full digital package on the ESPN App and original storytelling across social.
More information on ESPN Cover Story can be found here.