DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — It was a happy South Florida homecoming for teenage tennis sensation Cori “Coco” Gauff, more than a month after her remarkable run at Wimbledon came to an end.
The 15-year-old received a hero’s welcome at Pompey Park in her hometown of Delray Beach Saturday.
7News cameras captured the athlete holding red roses as she sat with loved ones.
“Honestly, I didn’t think that many people would have come,” she said, “and then I thought, because it rained, that it would be even less, but the gym, it’s literally jam-packed right now, so I think it’s just crazy how many people really showed up to support me.”
The community showed up in big numbers. Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia and Gauff’s pastor joined family members and friends at the gathering to show their support and appreciation.
“A lot more people recognize me on the street sometimes. I get stopped a lot now,” said Gauff, “but, like, honestly I never, I guess, dreamed of this. I was always dreaming more about the tennis. I didn’t dream about all that would come with it.”
The teen electrified the tennis world at the first Grand Slam she qualified for. At Wimbledon, she started by beating Venus Williams, her childhood idol.
Gauff made it to the forth round, where she lost to Romanian player Simona Halep, July 8. Halep went on to win the Grand Slam.
“I was literally just breaking the surface of the pro tennis world, I guess,” she said. “I know I have a lot more work to do, and hopefully next time I can come out with a better result.”
Among the well-wishers who sent Gauff texts was Michelle Obama. Gauff is currently reading the former first lady’s memoir, “Becoming.”
The next and final Grand Slam of the year is the U.S. Open in New York, set to begin Aug. 26. Officials said Gauff will be extended a wild card slot to be in the main draw.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.