Are we witnessing the handing of the proverbial torch between Venus and Coco?
This year’s French Open has all the makings of a drama worth watching every moment for. From Naomi Osaka’s recent withdrawal to Serena Williams’ hunt for her 24th Grand Slam title, all eyes are on everything that’s happening at the French Open, including the new "it" doubles team of Coco Gauff and Venus Williams.
On Wednesday, June 2, the 17-year-old tennis prodigy and the 40-year-old wily vet, who Gauff has called her idol, will play their first match against No. 13 seeds Ellen Perez and Zheng Saisai. Atlanta’s favorite tennis star, Coco Gauff, recently picked up a WTA doubles win in the final at Parma playing alongside regular partner Caty McNally. The pair also made it to the quarterfinals at both the 2020 and 2021 Australian Opens.
Despite McNally’s injury during a qualifying round forcing her to sit this competition out, Gauff and Williams’ partnership isn’t without merit or celebration. The two have competed in the past, with Gauff winning their previous face-offs at the 2020 Australian Open and at Wimbledon in 2019. In the latter matchup, Gauff not only beat her idol, but became the youngest player since 1991 to win in the first round of the ladies’ singles at Wimbledon.
“I told her thank you for everything that you did,” Gauff told reporters at the time of the conversation she and Williams had after the match. “I wouldn’t be here without you. I always wanted to tell her that.”
Venus, alongside her sister Serena, has won all of her 14 doubles Grand Slam titles as part of a sensational sister duo. Additionally, the siblings have won an impressive three Olympics doubles championships.
With Gauff and Williams both competing in the singles tournament, the French Open, which goes from May 30th through June 13th, is surely a must-see TV event not to miss.