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Cori Gauff becomes youngest player in Open Era to qualify for Wimbledon

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 28 Jun 2019
  • Gauff qualified for a major main draw for the first time on Thursday
  • The 15-year-old is the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon since the Open Era began in 1968
Cori Gauff (PA Images)

American teenage phenom Cori Gauff has made history after becoming the youngest player in the Open Era to qualify for Wimbledon.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Gauff, at just 15 years and 122 days, secured her spot in a main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time on Thursday as she crushed Greet Minnen 6-1 6-1 in the final round of qualifying, following on from straight sets wins over No. 1 seed Aliona Bolsova and Valentyna Ivakhnenko in the first two rounds.


The American prodigy is the first 15-year-old to reach the main draw of Wimbledon since Laura Robson in 2009 and the youngest player since the Open Era began in 1968.

“I’m still in shock that I’m going to be playing main draw Wimbledon,” Gauff said. “I think my first memory was watching Serena (Williams) playing Wimbledon, and I think she won — I don’t remember which year, she’s won so many times.
“I don’t know about any of the records I break until after, until somebody tells me. I just feel really blessed that I’m able to. I’m thankful that my parents never put any limitations on my goals, because sometimes parents can do that.
“My parents always told me to shoot as high as I wanted to. And I’m just happy that, not only did they accept my goals, they really sacrificed everything to make sure I get there.”

Incredibly, Gauff wasn’t even in the qualifying draw until last week when organisers rewarded her with a wildcard - and it’s safe to say she’s made the most of her opportunity.

Despite her tender age, Gauff has been threatening to break through at this level for a while now - she first made waves when she advanced to the junior girls U.S. Open final as a 13-year-old and followed that up last year as she won the junior French Open title.



Gauff also already has a tour-level match win under her belt, claiming her first WTA victory when she beat fellow American Catherine McNally in the opening round of the Miami Open before going down to 14th seed Daria Kasatkina, while she also made the final of the $25k ITF event in Surprise, USA in February and the quarter-finals of the $100k tournament in Charleston and the $60k event in Saint-Gaudens, France.

And as for who she’d like to play in the first round of the Wimbledon main draw, Gauff had one particular name in mind.

“Serena is the reason why I play tennis and why my dad decided to get me a racquet,” Gauff said.
“Obviously, I don’t care who I play. I’m just happy to be in the draw but I would love to share the court with Serena.”


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Cori Gauff becomes youngest player in Open Era to qualify for Wimbledon

American teenage phenom Cori Gauff has made history after becoming the youngest player in the Open Era to qualify for Wimbledon.

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