January 20, 2020

One of the perks of ascending to greatness is that at some point you get to play your idol on a big stage and slay them.

Hopefully.

In the nicest sort of way.

Then hug and smile afterwards and tell the world how much your idol meant to you. Perhaps shed a tear too. That would be a nice touch. Then when you play them down the road?

Decimate them again. You have to. It’s your job.

Venus is one of Coco’s greatest idols.

In somewhat of a surprise, Coco Gauff was scheduled to meet Venus Williams in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open.

She was also expected to defeat her.

The stakes are higher for Coco now that her results are proving that she can play and slay giants.

She did it again here against Venus.

As reported by ESPN, “Gauff, 15, played Williams, 39, to begin her first appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park, as she did at Wimbledon last year. Just like at the All England Club, the youngest woman in the field got the better of the oldest woman in the field, with Gauff beating Williams 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Monday.”

In watching the match, though Coco struggled at times, she was never really threatened.

Her all-court game and at times powerful serve continually kept the legendary champion off balance.

Every time that Venus would try and make a comeback, Coco would stifle it. Once Coco led 3-0 in the second set, it was all but lights out.

Ms. Gauff rose to prominence with a first round upset of Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019.

Hugs were in order along with sincere appreciation.

Ms. Gauff is a former world No. 1 junior.

Coco made her WTA Tour debut in March 2019 at the Miami Open and won her opening match. She received a wild card into the qualifying draw at Wimbledon where she became the youngest player to qualify for the main draw in the tournament’s history.

As reported by CBS News on January 16, 2020, “Coco Gauff, the youngest woman in the Australian Open, and Venus Williams, the oldest, are meeting again. The 15-year-old Gauff and 39-year-old Williams will face each other in the first round of another Grand Slam tournament after the American teenager was drawn against Williams on Thursday at Melbourne Park.”

At 14, Coco was the youngest qualifier in tournament history when she handily defeated Ms. Williams in straight sets and ultimately advanced to the round of 16.

Coming in, the odds were that Coco would win again. A two set victory is not required but given the sometimes volatile and now smoky weather expected down in Melbourne, it would be preferred.

Australian Open qualifying and practice have been affected by the unprecedented bushfire crisis. Air quality in Melbourne have reached hazardous levels and one qualifier fell to the ground from a coughing fit during a game.

The stakes appear to be much higher for the young American if she wants to continue her ascent towards the WTA upper echelon.

Coco is currently the youngest player ranked in the top 100 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and has a career-high ranking of No. 66 in the world.

The rising luminary won her first WTA singles title at the 2019 Linz Open at the age of 15, making her the youngest singles title-holder on the WTA Tour since 2004.

She has also won two WTA doubles titles with compatriot and fellow teenager Caty McNally.

What was amazing and intriguing watching both teenagers at the 2019 US Open was their extremely high level of tennis prowess and their surprising and amazing ability to communicate and handle the press with the ease that some even far older have not perfected.

Blessed by being born to athletic parents with NCAA Division I collegiate backgrounds in basketball and track and field, Coco experimented with a variety of sports as a child.

Fortunately for us as fans she chose to focus on tennis, having been inspired to play by Venus and Serena Williams.

Others in powerful sports places have taken notice of Coco’s accomplishments as well.

Coco uses a Head Graphene 360 Speed MP that has 16 main and 19 cross strings. She wears New Balance clothing and tennis shoes.

In October 2018, Ms. Gauff signed her first multi-year sponsorship contract, with New Balance. In March 2019, she announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Italian food company Barilla, which also sponsors Roger Federer.

Many of us are familiar with Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Puma sports shoes giant.

Let’s take a closer look at Coco’s favorite brand in New Balance.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com, fciwomenswrestling2.com, grapplingstars.com, New-Balance-shoe-photo-via-Pop-Sugar.

New Balance Athletics, Inc. (NB), best known as simply New Balance, is an American multinational corporation based in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

The company was founded in 1906 as the “New Balance Arch Support Company” and is one of the world’s major sports footwear and apparel manufacturers.

New Balance maintains a manufacturing presence in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom for the European market, where they produce some of their most popular models such as the 990 model.

Of note, this is in contrast to its competitors, which often manufacture exclusively outside the United States and Europe.

As a result, New Balance shoes tend to be more expensive than those of many other manufacturers. To offset this pricing difference, New Balance claims to differentiate their products with technical features, such as blended gel inserts, heel counters and a greater selection of sizes, particularly for very narrow or very wide widths.

It appears to be working. The company has made total profits of approximately $69 billion since 1992.

We expect that Coco will help increase that profit margin.

In terms of who that are, what they believe and what they stand for, at their website New Balance explains it best themselves, “At New Balance, our job is to aid athletes in their pursuit of excellence, whether that means helping professional athletes set records and win medals, or propelling everyday athletes to achieve a new PR, run their first 5K or just to live a more healthy and active lifestyle.

Our products are the perfect blend of function and fashion, giving you the performance technology you need and the style you want. Our associates around the world bring these goals to life with their high-level skills and creativity. While we offer the best product on the market, we’re also equally committed to giving back. So while we look to succeed, we believe in ensuring others have the same opportunity.”

Well Said.

The opportunities in front of our young American sensation are endless.

This giant slayer loves the women’s tennis game and we sense has a lot of idols.

If so, they should get ready for hugs and tears.

~ ~ ~

Opening photo

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coco-gauff-faces-venus-williams-in-australian-open/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coco_Gauff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Balance

https://www.newbalance.com/about-new-balance-content-assets/inside-nb-overview.html