Coco Gauff may be one of the hottest rising stars in female tennis but even she knows how sexism still affects the world around her. The 15-year old tennis player recent made news after she confessed to being a feminist, an outstanding display of political outspokenness that is rarely seen in sports.
She describes how there is always a low expectation of girls like her when she was in school. She recalled how she used to always defeat boys of her age in running and how everyone is surprised when that happens. Gauff reaffirmed that she believes that both men and women should be treated equally.
During an interview with Vogue, she revealed:
“I’ve heard, ‘You can’t do this because you’re a girl’ so many times. At school, I always used to beat the guys at running and it was this big deal—I proved them wrong! I’m a feminist because I believe that everyone should be equal.”
The Atlanta-born star also spoke of how the Williams sisters inspired her growing up. Now that she is the one inspiring young people, she always reminds herself that she is not only representing herself but also thousand (or millions) of young girls who want to achieve their dreams in sports.
She especially points to Serena for helping pave the way for young women of color in tennis. She even had a poster of Williams in her bedroom wall in their house.
Serena Williams: I am a feminist
While Williams has always been an inspiration for many feminists and young women all over the world, it was during the past decade that she really became more outspoken about her beliefs. Back when still had a baby in the bun, she revealed that she was proud to call herself a feminist.
She said that as a woman herself, she felt that it was her duty to fight and advocate for women’s rights. She blasted the existence of a gender pay gap, which she believes greatly affect women of color. It was because of this that she wrote an op-ed calling for equal pay.
Williams also makes sure that she follows up her words with action. She is not shy in calling out sexism in her own sport. She infamously called out umpire Carlos Ramos in last year’s U.S. Open final for what she thought was an unfairly applied penalty against her.
During that particular match, she called Ramos a “thief,” which resulted in her getting penalized for “verbal abuse.” She believed that a lot of male players did a lot worse and getting away with barely a slap on the wrist.
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Andy Murray, also a feminist
On the other hand, Williams’ Wimbledon 2019 mixed-doubles partner Andy Murray has also been hailed because of his feminist views. He has been praised for his unapologetic feminism, championing female athletes throughout his career.
He even once corrected a reporter in 2017 for incorrectly pointing out that Sam Querrey was then the first American to qualify for a Grand Slam singles semifinal in eight years. He was wrong: female Americans have been in every Grand Slam semifinals from 2009-2017.
Gauff in Linz, ranking, and results in 2019
Ranked no.110, Gauff has a 15-7 win-loss record in 2019. Gauff is now playing in Linz where she toppled Liudmila Samsonova 6-710 6-2 6-2, Stefanie Voegele 6-3 7-63 and Kateryna Kozlova 4-6 6-4 2-0 ret..
Gauff will face Bertens in the quarter. They have never played each so far on the main tour.
Serena Williams’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.9, the American played her last match on the 7th of September when she surrendered to Bianca Vanessa Andreescu 6-3 7-5 in the final in U.S. Open.
Serena Williams’s best performance of this year was reaching the final in at the U.S. Open, Toronto and in Wimbledon.
Cori Gauff and Serena Williams have never played each other.
Cori Gauff and Serena Williams
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