The Smoothie King Center in New Orleans was the meeting point of two promising American youngsters, with the 15-year-old Cori Gauff getting a chance to talk with the young NBA star Zion Williamson and receiving signed sneakers.
Zion had a prominent high school career at Spartanburg Day School, playing one college season at Duke and leading his squad towards the Elite 8 where they lost to Michigan State in a thriller. Ready to take the next step, Williamson signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, waiting to make a debut on the big stage.
On the other hand, Cori Gauff has been one of the players of the WTA season, embracing the professional campaign after a short but stellar junior career that saw her winning Roland Garros and Orange Bowl at the age of 14!
Finishing her junior duties in December 2018, Cori switched focus to a pro career and targeted a place in the top-100 by the end of 2019. Despite the age restrictions and her inexperience against older and more developed players, Gauff showed her class to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon as a qualifier and the third round at the US Open, finishing the season on a high note after claiming the first WTA title in Linz.
Cori is by far the youngest player in the year-end top-100 and the youngest WTA champion since 2004, achieving all of her goals set for this season and preparing for the new one that will kick off at the ASB Classic in Auckland.
At the age of 15, Cori is ready to make the main draw debut at the Australian Open without taking a wild card or competing in the qualifying round, proving her quality and seeking even more noticeable results in 2020. Alongside her singles results, Gauff had a lot of success in doubles as well, lifting titles in Washington and Luxembourg with Catherine McNally to finish inside the top-80 on that list too.