In the world of tennis, legends are born, and their legacies often transcend the sport itself. Serena and Venus Williams, have etched their names in tennis history with a combined 30 Grand Slam titles between them. The have not only inspired millions but have also paved the way for the rise of new talent, such as Coco Gauff.
Serena and Venus Williams have always been more than just tennis players; they are icons who transcended the sport’s boundaries. Their journey to success was not just about winning Grand Slams, it was about breaking barriers and stereotypes that held a regressive notion about back people in tennis.
Coco Gauff acknowledges Williams sisters’ influence
Coco Gauff acknowledges the profound influence of the Williams sisters, saying, “I think Serena and Venus Williams inspired a lot of African Americans and Black people in general because before them it was difficult for people of color to imagine themselves in that place.” After her US Open win, she candidly expressed her admiration and gratitude for them, stating, “They’re the reason why I have this trophy today.”
Coco Gauff says Serena & Venus Williams are the reason she has the US Open trophy today:
“They’re the reason why I have this trophy today. They’ve allowed me to believe in this dream. Growing up, there weren’t too many black tennis players dominating the sport. It was just them… pic.twitter.com/IJN1viI4nx
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 10, 2023
Coco Gauff stands as a living testament to the impact of the Williams sisters’ achievements and the dreams they have ignited in the hearts of aspiring athletes worldwide. Gauff’s coach in her formative years, Patrick Mouratoglou aptly puts it, “They’re an inspiration to the world,” sharing his perspective on how Serena and Venus Williams paved the way for emerging black athletes such as Coco Gauff.
Gauff’s sensational tennis journey began at a very young age, with notable achievements- securing the French Open junior title at 14 and defeating Venus at Wimbledon when she was just 15, cemented her status as an emerging star. Her victory at the 2023 US Open, to become the first American teen to win since Serena herself, highlights the profound influence of the Williams sisters’ legacy, encouraging players like Gauff to dream big.
Gauff’s meteoric rise and record-setting viewership at the 2023 US Open finals
Coco Gauff’s professional career has seen an upward climb, marked by notable victories in six tournaments since she turned a senior pro at just 14 years of age. Among these triumphs are the 2023 DC Open and the Cincinnati 1000 Masters, showcasing her undeniable talent. Gauff’s rise has seen her ascent to her current ranking of world no. 3, at just 19 years of age.
However, her true breakthrough moment came at the 2023 US Open, where she secured her first Grand Slam victory, a feat reminiscent of American tennis legends, Tracy Austin, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams. Yet, Gauff’s impact extends beyond her personal achievements. Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka’s US Open finals etched itself into the history books for its record viewership.
Coco Gauff’s U.S. Open victory drew record viewership for a women’s major tennis final — and more than the men’s final. pic.twitter.com/7tp55yUulp
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 13, 2023
This thrilling showdown achieved a rare milestone, as it surpassed the viewership of the men’s singles final, making waves in women’s sports. According to ESPN, an impressive 3.4 million viewers tuned in to witness the clash, while the men’s final, garnered nearly 2.3 million viewers.
It also stands as the most-watched women’s final in the history of any tennis major on ESPN, with a remarkable 92 percent increase in viewership compared to the previous year’s final. Gauff’s US Open finals now claim the distinction of being the second-most-viewed US Open telecast, second only to the iconic 2002 final between Serena and Venus Williams!