Teenage sensation Cori 'Coco' Gauff may be ineligible to participate in the US Open next month as she has already taken all three of her wildcard entries for the year that she is allotted per the WTA rulebook.
The WTA has strict regulations for players 15 and under, limiting them to 10 pro tournaments and three wildcards per year.
Gauff accepted her three wildcards at the Miami Open, French Open qualifiers and Wimbledon qualifiers.
The news, initially reported per The New York Post, comes as a shock to the tennis world after the prodigy lit up a storm at Wimbledon, reaching the last 16 at just 15 years of age.
The Florida-based sensation is partly why Wimbledon 2019 will live long in the memory for all who experienced it. She enjoyed a rise to stardom so rapid that she became the hottest ticket in town.
- The story of Wimbledon
- Serena Williams’ Wimbledon final defeats
- Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon after epic vs Roger Federer
Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, called the phenom an “absolute star” and her eventual conqueror and this year’s champion Simona Halep said “she will be top 10 very soon.”
USTA director of communications Chris Widmaier remains confident that an exception to the WTA ruling will be made and Gauff will take her rightful place at Flushing Meadows at the end of August.
“We would expect to see Coco in the main draw of the US Open,” said Widmaier per The New York Post.
“She certainly won the hearts of tennis fans in our country with her Wimbledon performance. It’s not every day an athlete of her age becomes water-cooler talk."
The WTA have responded with a statement that basically confirms they will stand by and allow Gauff to participate.
“The US Open, as a Grand Slam, reserves the right to not align with the Age Eligibility Rule and offer a player a Wild Card in excess of her limit over the Age Eligibility Rule.”
Gauff’s Wimbledon exploits have seen her climb to 141 in the world, meaning that she would be eligible for the qualifiers even without a wildcard, but not for the main draw.
The former world No. 1 junior will no doubt be the talk of the town in New York with fans travelling from all across the globe to see what many believe is the next superstar of tennis.News Now - Sport News