Tennis Star Coco Gauff Admits She Thought She "Would Lose" Against Venus Williams at the People's Choice Awards

Exclusive! The 15-year-old tennis superstar opened up about beating her idol Venus Williams on the red carpet at the 2019 People's Choice Awards

By Tierney Bricker Nov 11, 2019 1:21 AMTags
Watch: Why Coco Gauff Cried After She Beat Venus Williams

At just 15 years old, Cori "Coco" Gauff is the youngest player ranked in the top 100 female tennis players in the world...not that she even knew that impressive fact.

Nominated for Gamechanger of the Year, Coco admitted to Giuliana Rancic that being ranked so high is "shocking" when she hit the 2019 People's Choice Awards red carpet. 

"I actually didn't know that fact until you told me," the tennis superstar said. "It shows how much I've been dreaming about this and I've been working hard. This year I think I started off ranked 800th or something, so I just improved a lot and it all just came from confidence."

Going from 800th to one of the most buzzed-about athletes in the sport and attending the PCAs for the first time? Yeah, that's what we call a gamechanger. Coco is up against LeBron James, Megan Rapinoe, Drew Brees, Alex Morgan, Stephen Curry, Serena Williams and Simone Biles in the stacked sports category.

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A lot of Coco's newfound confidence came from her stunning defeat of tennis legend Venus Williams, 39, at Wimbledon this summer, with the teen explaining why that match was the only time she's ever cried after winning.


Amy Sussman/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank

"The night before I was assuming I would lose the match, so I just wanted to tell her thank you for everything she's done for the sport and for girls that look like me because I wouldn't be playing tennis without her and without her being involved," Coco explained of how much playing against Venus, one of her idols, meant to her. "That match was the only match I ever cried after winning and I'll remember that moment for the rest of my life."

And she just might remember her first time walking the red carpet at the People's Choice Awards too as she compared the energy to one of the biggest events in tennis. 

"A lot of energy, a lot of good vibes," she said of her first time attending the PCAs. "It kind of reminds me of pulling a night session at US Open. It's really crowded so it's similar to that!"