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- Cori "Coco" Gauff has returned to tennis after taking Wimbledon by storm earlier this month.
- Gauff became a celebrity overnight because of the cool, calm, and collected way she disposed of Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova, and Polona Hercog at the All England Club.
- She breezed past back-to-back qualifying opponents at the Washington Open last weekend, setting up a first-round match in the women’s singles bracket on Tuesday.
- While Gauff is continuing to do what she does best — play great tennis — she has spoken to the press about how her life changed forever since Wimbledon.
- "People recognize me in the airport, at the movie theater," she said.
- "She’s kind of the local celebrity right now," her father said.
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Cori "Coco" Gauff, 15, returns at the Washington Open this week and has explained how her life changed forever after she took Wimbledon by storm at the start of July.
Gauff breezed through back-to-back Washington Open qualifiers at the weekend, losing just nine games in total to Maegan Manasse on Saturday and Hiroko Kuwata on Sunday.
During the qualification process, Gauff drew crowds, signed autographs, and spoke to the press.
She said she is getting recognized everywhere she goes after she shook up the tennis world by beating Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova, and Polona Hercog to survive a grueling first week at the All England Club, progressing into the fourth round where she was ousted by eventual Wimbledon winner Simona Halep.
"People recognize me in the airport, at the movie theater," Gauff said at a media event last week, according to Agence France-Presse. "It’s great people have recognized who I am. It was definitely a big change."
Gauff’s father Corey Gauff told The New York Times that though he would "love to come home with a trophy" when the family returned to Delray Beach, Florida, this month, "[people still] wanted to express support, and we were really appreciative."
He added: "She’s kind of the local celebrity right now."
Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Gauff’s celebrity transcends the local level, though. And it is not just tennis fans and the sports media that are drawn to Gauff as she has also captivated the attention of her peers.
Serena Williams has said she’s a "big fan" of Gauff and Williams’ renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou said the teenager was this month competing at a level befitting a player ranked inside the top 20 women in the world.
Gauff has also received messages of support from other promising young players, including 21-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, who is regarded as one of the better Next-Gen talents in men’s singles competition.
"She’s doing unbelievable," Tiafoe said in The New York Times. "I just DMed her and I said: ‘I know your phone is blowing up, and I know everybody in the world is going to know about this, but hey: Get used to it. You’re a superstar in the making. This is your level, and don’t be satisfied now.’"
Fans can see Gauff’s level this week as the youngster plays in the women’s doubles bracket at the Washington Open on Monday, partnering Caty McNally in a Round of 16 match against Manasse and Hayley Carter.
Gauff then takes on Zarina Diyas in a Round of 32 singles clash Tuesday.
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