Ever since the US Open 2017 when she reached the junior final at the age of 13, Cori Gauff has been the youngster to watch! Super talented American that works in Florida had an incredible season in 2018 as well, competing as the youngest player in almost every draw she entered and proving her quality to achieve some impressive age records that will take some beating from the players of her age in the future.
Just after turning 14, Cor conquered Roland Garros junior crown, scored first pro wins and became ITF junior world no. 1 at the moment when her coevals were only making the first steps on the junior circuit. Gauff completed the season with the Orange Bowl title, ending her junior career at the age of 14 and dreaming about entering the top-100 on the WTA list by the end of 2019, which looked like a mission impossible some 12 months ago.
Confident about her abilities and ready to work hard on various improvements of her already well-balanced game, Cori played in the first pro final in February and managed to pass the qualifying draw at Wimbledon, still ranked outside the top-300.
At the All England Club, Cor defeated multiple Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and two other opponents to find herself in the last 16 as the youngest player in almost 30 years, gathering momentum and showing her best tennis at the US Open again where Naomi Osaka defeated her in the third round.
Making bigger and bigger movements on the list, the 15-year-old stood on the verge of the top-100 ahead of Linz and Luxembourg, entering the main draw in Austria as a lucky loser and going all the way to claim the title and become the youngest WTA champion since Nicole Vaidisova in 2004, earning enough points to find herself well-inside the top-100 and achieve the goal set at the beginning of the year.
In Luxembourg, Cori lost in the first round in singles but there was another title in her hands when she and Catherine McNally toppled three of the top-4 seeds and claimed already their second WTA crown after Washington in July.
Ranked in the top-80 in both singles and doubles at the age of 15 (!!), Cori is ready to chase even bigger goals in 2020, playing with no fear against anyone on the other side of the net after already adding some very impressive age records to her tally.
"It was a roller coaster ride in 2019," Gauff said, "now it's coming down because of the offseason. It was an excellent year for me. I don't go on the court thinking I'm going to lose – it's not the right mentality to have.
I didn't expect to beat Venus at Wimbledon but I believed I could win. That match was the only one when I had a different goal and wanted to test my abilities – but other matches, my goal was to come out winning. When you're playing Venus, it's a bit different and that match gave me a lot of confidence.
For the offseason, fitness-wise, it's maintaining and improving where I already stand, there's not much I need to correct. Tennis wise, step into the court more, take more chances, hit through my forehand and improve overall my game.
This year, I set a lot of goals number wise, which put a lot of pressure on me. In 2020, I'm going to set goals related to general improvements, not chasing ranking goals or results, just improving. I'm playing Auckland and the Australian Open first and the rest is unclear.
We have an idea, but with the tournament limit, things could change last minute. I've got one more tournament before I turn 16. Most likely, it would be Indian Wells, but it could change depending on my progress."