Billie Jean King has hailed 15-year-old Coco Gauff as a “special” talent.
The prodigious teenager, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon and won in Linz as she stormed to WTA World No.68, has been named in the Time 100 Next 2019, a list that pinpoints the rising stars who are set to shape the future, not just in sport but in the world in general.
And 12-time major winner King has paid glowing tribute to the American.
“Coco Gauff has a certain It factor,” she wrote. “Coco is a special one. She loves the big stage, is very well prepared on and off the court, and—most importantly—she knows there are so many more opportunities ahead for her life and her career. But because she has proved she is exceptional at tennis, she now has a platform to inspire all of us, especially young people.”
Gauff finished 2019 with a 11-5 winning record in WTA Tour main draw events, notably scoring upset victories over Venus Williams at Wimbledon and WTA World No.8 Kiki Bertens en route to her debut title in Austria.
It was, however, at the All England Club where she burst onto the scene, entertaining crowds with her stylish tennis and infectious personality as she became the youngest player to reach the second week of the Grand Slam event since Jennifer Capriati in 1990.