REVEALED: Coco Gauff earned her first paycheck acting as a young Serena Williams when she was 10 as she pays tribute to the retiring star ahead of the US Open
- Coco Gauff played a young Serena Williams in a commercial when she was a kid
- Gauff, now 18, revealed that acting job was the first time she made money
- Williams is expected to retire after the US Open which begins next week
Coco Gauff has opened up on just how influential Serena Williams has been for her – revealing she even earned her first paycheck thanks to tennis icon starring in a commercial.
The 18-year-old Gauff, preparing for the US Open on next week, was quoted by WTA tennis making the remarks as she paid tribute to the 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams.
The 40-year-old Williams is expected to retire after the US Open – she plays Danka Kovinic in the first round on Monday night at Flushing Meadows.
Coco Gauff’s first Instagram picture was a snap with Serena Williams when she was 11 years old
Gauff has paid tribute to the retiring Williams and the influence she has had over her
Speaking of their first meeting, Gauff said: ‘I think I was 9 or 10 years old.
‘They needed a stunt double to play a young version of her, just the neck down. I think it was for a Delta commercial.
‘I stopped by her trailer, took a picture. She probably doesn’t even know. My mom actually sent me a picture a couple weeks ago of me waiting, getting my hair done by the people.
‘I don’t think they ever used it, but that was the first check I ever got as a kid. She doesn’t know this, but the first money I ever made for myself was because of her doing a commercial.’
And Gauff, whose first ever Instagram post was a picture with Serena when she was 11, admits she continues to take inspirations from Williams since they have been peers on the tennis circuit.
‘Growing up I never thought that I was different because the No.1 player in the world was somebody who looked like me,’ Gauff said. ‘I think that’s the biggest thing that I can take from what I’ve learned from Serena.
Williams is expected to retire from tennis after the US Open, which begins next week
‘Then also on a more personal level, I got to have a couple conversations with her later on in life. I think it’s just the way that she handles herself. She never puts herself down. I love that she always elevates herself.
‘Sometimes being a woman, a black woman in the world, you kind of settle for less. I feel like Serena taught me that, from watching her, she never settled for less. I can’t remember a moment in her career or life that she settled for less.
‘I think that’s something I took from her. As a person, I’m growing into being an adult and learning how to handle things now with the media and tennis and everything. I’m trying to learn to not settle for less.’