Coco Gauff has a certain It factor. When she turned 15 in March, she was the 453rd-ranked women’s tennis player in the world. She didn’t stay there for long. Born into an athletic family, Coco had an amazing run at Wimbledon this summer, then backed it up with a strong showing at the U.S. Open. Now, after an upward climb—and capturing her first title in Linz, Austria—she’s ranked No. 68. That is a good season for almost any player, let alone one who is barely old enough to have her driver’s license. Coco is a special one. She loves the big stage, is very well prepared on and off the court, and—most importantly—she knows there are so many more opportunities ahead for her life and her career. But because she has proved she is exceptional at tennis, she now has a platform to inspire all of us, especially young people.
King is the founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association