Ex-Australian star reveals how Coco Gauff earned major respect from legends

Gauff attended the WTA 50th Anniversary Gala prior to the start of the US Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Ex-Australian star reveals how Coco Gauff earned major respect from legends
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Former Australian tennis player Nicole Pratt applauded Coco Gauff for finding time to show up for the WTA 50th Anniversary Gala in New York. Prior to the start of this year's US Open, the WTA celebrated its 50 years in a special gala night in New York. Gauff, who ended up becoming a Grand Slam champion two weeks later at the US Open, attended the gala night and delivered a speech, in which she acknowledged all the women who played a part in creating a strong WTA. 

"Prior to the tournament [US Open], Coco Gauff was in the ballroom and it was a celebration. It was a celebration of 50 years of the WTA tour. And she was the only top player that was there, that was present, that had taken the time to acknowledge, you know, where the tour has come from to where it is today. She spoke so eloquently, mature beyond her years. It was a moment for me where I go, you know what, whatever success that comes to you, you absolutely deserve it. If you end up being one of the best women tennis players in the world, I cannot think of a better spokesperson, an idol for, you know, women and girls to look up to," Pratt said on The AO Show podcast.

Pratt praises Gauff for showing up to the WTA 50th Anniversary Gala

When Gauff took to the podium, the 19-year-old American paid tribute to all the women who helped create the WTA and to all of those who did their part in making the WTA a strong association. Gauff also paid a special tribute to Serena Williams, her idol and the player who inspired her to pick up a racket and believe she could one day be a tennis superstar. 

“It feels a bit like I’ve walked into a women’s tennis history book that has come to life. The WTA history that we all celebrate, is about a tour founded by women who were unafraid, and carried on by women who are empowered by the legacy we work every day to build upon. In Serena Williams, I watched someone who dominated women’s tennis in a way no one else has ever had. More importantly, I saw someone who looked like me, and helped me believe I could achieve as I follow my own unique path. These women, and so many others, were trailblazers, who have given every generation after them the opportunity and the inspiration to find our voices, and the global platform to speak out about issues that matter to us," Gauff said during WTA's special night in New York.

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