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TENNIS

How old is Coco Gauff? How old was she at her first Grand Slam?

Coco Gauff, who takes on Iga Swiatek in the women’s singles final at Roland Garros on Saturday, is the youngest Grand Slam finalist in 18 years.

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Coco Gauff, who takes on Iga Swiatek in the women’s singles final at Roland Garros on Saturday, is the youngest Grand Slam finalist in 18 years.
DeFodi ImagesGetty

At 18 years old, American Coco Gauff will be the youngest Grand Slam finalist in just under two decades when she takes on Poland’s Iga Swiatek in the 2022 French Open women’s singles final on Saturday.

Gauff follows in footsteps of Sharapova, Clijsters

Not since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 has a men’s or women’s player as young as Gauff reached the deciding game in a major tournament.

The Georgia native is also the youngest finalist at Roland Garros since Kim Clijsters lost to Jennifer Capriati a day after turning 18 in 2001.

Gauff, who is yet to drop a set at this year’s French Open, progressed to her first ever Grand Slam singles final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Italy’s Martina Trevisan in the semi-finals on Thursday.

Gauff calls for end to gun violence

The teenager took advantage of the spotlight after her last-four victory to speak out against the frequent mass shootings in the US, with the recent killing of 21 people at a school in Uvalde, Texas, just one of over 200 such incidents in the country this year.

Asked to sign a camera lens on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Gauff wrote the messages “peace” and “end gun violence”.

She then told reporters in her post-match press conference: “Since I was younger, my dad told me I could change the world with my racquet. He didn’t mean that by just playing tennis. He meant speaking out on issues like this.

“The first thing my dad said to me after I got off court [was] I’m proud of you and I love what you wrote on the camera.”

When was Gauff’s first Grand Slam appearance?

Gauff shot to prominence in her first ever Grand Slam match, which came at Wimbledon 2019. Aged just 15, she pulled off a major upset by ousting Venus Williams in the first round on No 1 Court, defeating the seven-time Grand Slam winner in straight sets.

Gauff went on to reach the fourth round at SW19 that year, before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Since that impressive Grand Slam debut, she had also made it to the fourth round at the 2020 Australian Open and again at Wimbledon in 2021, before embarking on a career-best run at a major in Paris this year.

Currently the world number 23, Gauff posted her highest ever ranking at the start of April 2022, rising to 15th. She has claimed two WTA singles titles, in Linz in 2019 and Parma in 2021.

Gauff reacts after beating Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2019.
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Gauff reacts after beating Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2019.TOBY MELVILLEREUTERS

Faces world No. 1 in French Open final

Gauff now faces world number one Swiatek, who lifted the French Open title in 2020 and is currently on a 34-match winning run. Swiatek advanced to the final by beating Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in straight sets on Thursday.

The final is scheduled to begin at 3pm local time (CEST). In the United States, that’s 9am ET and 6am PT. Find out how to watch the match in the US.

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