Coco Gauff took the world by storm when she burst onto the tennis scene at only 15 years of age. Gauff is a prodigy and has shown her worth time and time again. She has steadily risen through the ranks, collecting silverware as she went. But there is something that not many fans may be aware of when it comes to her identity.
While the teenage tennis star plays under the name ‘Coco’, it is not her actual birth name. Born Cori Gauff, on March 13th, 2004, she decided her nickname Coco would be her primary identity.
The reason behind this is actually very simple. Coco’s father’s name is Corey Gauff, and since both their first names are similar, it could have led to confusion. So her aunt suggested that they call her Coco, and everyone went along with it.
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“My nickname came about because we both can’t be named Corey/Cori, that’d be confusing. I believe it was my aunt who said, ‘Oh, we should just call her Coco.’ Ever since then, I’ve been going by Coco. For sure more people used Coco than Cori,” said Gauff (via Express UK).
Since then, Coco’s career has risen in leaps and bounds. She made it to the finals of the French Open last year, facing defeat at the hands of then-world number-one Iga Swiatek. Her rankings have also steadily climbed, breaking into the top 10 for the first time last year.
Coco Gauff has had a phenomenal run during the North American hard-court swing. She collected two WTA Hologic titles en route to the US Open, where she will play to win her maiden Grand Slam. Gauff will lock horns with Aryna Sabalenka in the final on Saturday, September 9th.
A few other lesser-known facts about Coco Gauff
Coco is a native of Atlanta but grew up in Delray Beach. The teenage phenomenon is a tennis prodigy, but she did not start out that way.
Gauff grew up playing basketball before she took up the tennis racket. While she loved the game, she preferred the individual aspects of tennis. Coco quickly realized that she was not cut out to play a team sport.
It is not surprising that Coco grew up playing sports. Her father Corey played basketball at Georgia State, from 1190-1993. At 6’2, he was the obvious choice to play as a guard. Coco’s mother, Candi Gauff, was a track athlete and even won the Sun Sentinel’s track athlete of the year.
Coco Gauff comes from a sports-loving family. Gauff really has made a name for herself at such a young age, when most players take a lifetime to get to this place.