Yesterday (Sept. 4), 18-year-old Coco Gauff made history at the 2022 U.S. Open. The tennis star became the youngest American to advance to the quarterfinals since 2009. The legendary tournament was held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.
Gauff defeated Shuai Zhang to advance as a quarterfinalist for the first time in her professional career. “Coco Gauff (18) becomes the youngest American woman to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals since 2009,” ESPN tweeted. Gauff described the powerful roaring sound of fans rooting in the stadium. “Here, I can’t hear myself scream. Makes me want to do it more. I think I’m feeding off the momentum a lot. I enjoy it,” she shared.
Her father Corey Gauff was impressed by the cheering as well. “I kept pinching myself. I’m like, ‘My gosh, all of these people here for my daughter.’ You dream about this, but you never know if you’re going to realize that. She was pumping herself up, and they responded to her. It sent chills up my spine,” he said at the match. Celebrities also attended the tournament to show their support and enjoy the game. Russell and Ciara Wilson, Mike Tyson, Brooklyn Nets player Ben Simmons, Spike Lee and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley were just some of the stars spotted in the stands.
On Friday (Sept. 2), Serena Williams played in the final U.S. Open of her career ahead of her retirement. Gauff has been very vocal about Williams being an inspiration in her career. Last month, the young athlete shared that the first time she ever made money as a kid was playing a young Williams in a commercial. “I think I was 9 or 10 years old. They needed a stunt double to play a young version of her, just the [face] down. I think it was for a Delta commercial,” Gauff shared at a press conference before the U.S. Open.
She added, “I don’t think they ever used it, but that was the first check I ever got as a kid. She doesn’t know this, but the first money I ever made for myself was because of her, doing a commercial.” Following Williams’ last game, Gauff shared a sweet tribute on Twitter: “Serena, THANK YOU. It is because of you I believe in this dream. The impact you’ve had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together and for that, I say thank you, thank you, thank you, GOAT!”
Tomorrow (Sept. 6), Gauff will take on Caroline Garcia of France as the U.S. Open continues.