The importance of Serena and Venus Williams in tennis history is well understood and referenced regularly. They truly paved the way for players like Coco Gauff and Frances Tiafoe, who are always very quick to point out the importance of seeing them put together careers as they have.
Representation truly matters, and Gauff spoke about that after her win over Aryna Sabalenka, explaining that the Williams sisters inspired her. She credited them as the reason why she was sitting there with a trophy in her hands, as it allowed her to believe in her dream.
Yes, it's crazy. I mean, they're the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest. They have allowed me to believe in this dream, you know, growing up. You know, there wasn't too many just Black tennis players dominating the sport. It was literally, at that time when I was younger, it was just them that I can remember.
Obviously more came because of their legacy. So it made the dream more believable. But all the things that they had to go through, they made it easier for someone like me to do this.
Wins like this one by Gauff will inspire the next generations of tennis players. She understands that and hopes to be a good role model in the same way the Williams sisters were for her. This win actually put Gauff in another sentence with Serena Williams, but that's nothing new.
She's been compared to Williams since she started playing tennis. She became the youngest US Grand Slam champion since Serena Williams, and she'll likely achieve even more things in the future. Gauff just surpassed 10 million in career prize money earnings, but it's a long way to the 94 million Williams earned in her career.