Cori Gauff will turn 16 on March 13, achieving some significant milestones in her short career and finding herself in the top-50 of the WTA ranking list next for the first time next Monday! Despite a reduced schedule, this super-talented youngster who works in Florida has already won her first WTA title and reached the second week at Majors twice, delivering some notable victories and standing without any fear regardless of the rival on the other side of the net.
Cori had to pick three WTA events at the beginning of the new season before her birthday, choosing the ASB Classis, the Australian Open and Indian Wells as her first stops before getting a chance to enter more tournaments in the following months.
Making a debut in Melbourne at the age when her coevals only dream about playing the junior event, Cori proved her quality again, beating Venus Williams and the defending champion Naomi Osaka to reach the last 16, taking the opening set before losing to an eventual champion Sofia Kenin.
The youngster has been working hard ahead of Indian Wells, showing some footage from the practice court and asking Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios for an opinion about her tweener. Cori has been one of the young guns to watch ever since the US Open 2017 when she reached the junior final at the age of 13, becoming junior no.
1 and Roland Garros champion at the age of 14 next year, scoring her first professional wins in 2018 as well. Targeting the place in the top-100 at the end of 2019, Cori left junior tennis behind after conquering the Orange Bowl in December that year, focusing on the professional tournaments and making remarkable progress in passing some 600 rivals on the WTA list!
Gauff advanced into the first professional final last February, still before turning 15, scoring the first WTA win on the big scene in Miami and receiving a wild card for the qualifying draw at Wimbledon. Cori embraced the opportunity with both hands, passing three obstacles to find herself in the main draw as the youngest qualifier ever at the All England Club where she stunned the multiple champion Venus Williams in the first round, adding two more wins to her tally to become the youngest player in the fourth round at Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati!
Moving closer to her goal, Gauff won two encounters at the US Open and claimed the first WTA title in Luxembourg as the last-minute lucky loser, becoming the youngest WTA champion since 2004 and cracking the top-70 ahead of 2020 when she can play more tournaments than in the previous year, at least after turning 16 in a couple of weeks.