When 15-year-old Cori “Coco” Gauff beat her idol Venus Williams at Wimbledon in July and became the youngest player to win a match at the nearly 150 year-old tennis tournament since 1991, her level of fame grew instantly.
In fact, the term “Cocomania” was birthed soon after, and Gauff became even more well known when she won three more Wimbledon matches before falling to Simona Halep.
Gauff talked about her newfound fame during a recent interview with Teen Vogue and said it’s been a lot to deal with.
The Florida native also revealed that she and her family were followed in their car after returning from the British tournament. So they had to contact police and make some adjustments afterwards.
“We’ve just kind of been making sure we change our schedule every day so no one, like, I don’t know, figures out what we do,” Gauff explained. “My dad’s crazy, so I think we’ll be OK.”
Next, Gauff will face Anastasia Potapova in the U.S. Open after she received a wild card to enter, and it’s safe to say that everything she does on and off the court will be scrutinized.
The teen’s father, Corey Gauff, also talked about his daughter’s new level of fame and spoke about the term “prodigy,” which she’s been branded with.
“I understand the Webster’s dictionary [definition] of it, and maybe it’s applicable,” said the proud dad. “But to me, it’s like [Bobby] Fischer in chess. Somebody [who] can see the chessboard. That’s a prodigy to me.”
“They just have a mental capability that’s so unique and so off the charts,” he added. “When it comes to something like tennis, [Coco] works hard. This is not an accident. She might be overnight popular, but she’s not an overnight success.”
Gauff will face Potapova in the U.S. Open’s first round, which begins on August 26 at The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.