Coco Gauff is on her way to Wimbledon.
Coco Gauff is on her way to Wimbledon.

15-year-old makes Wimbledon history

American Cori Gauff has become the youngest ever qualifier for Wimbledon in the Open era at 15 years, 122 days.

The teenager defeated Greet Minnen 6-1 6-1 overnight to book her spot in the main draw at the All England Club.

Gauff will make her grand slam singles debut at the year's third major, which starts in London on Monday. She's the first 15-year-old to reach the main draw of Wimbledon since Laura Robson in 2009, and youngest player to do so 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."

As a 13-year-old, Gauff made the final of the junior US Open and last year she won the junior French Open. Now she'll be playing alongside the very players she's idolised her whole life, and she was pretty happy about it.


"Serena is the reason why I play tennis and why my dad decided to get me a racket," 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."

Gauff only learnt she'd received a wildcard to qualifying in Roehampton just over a week ago but she made the most of her opportunity. She disposed of top seed Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov then beat Russian Valentyna Ivankhnenko before knocking off Minnen, all without losing a set.