The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: Coco Gauff’s Grand Slam win is the motivation we all need in our lives

Welcome back to another edition of the Catch-Up!
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Ashanti Thomas

Welcome back to another edition of the Catch-Up, the column where I catch you up on all the goods of the week’s biggest pop culture moments!

We’re starting this off with a huge congratulations to Coco Gauff; the 19-year-old bumped up from tennis star to tennis champ recently, by winning the U.S. Open on September 9th.

Because of her achievement, Coco is the first black teenage woman to win the U.S. Open since Serena Williams in 1999 (that’s 24 years apart!).

But that’s not all we’re here to talk about. When Gauff first emerged onto the pro-tennis scene back in 2018, there were many comparisons of her to the Williams sisters, specifically Serena.

There was also lots of backlash towards her. People doubted that she could be just as good (if not better) than Serena and Venus, or that she could hold her own as a professional at a young age.

Yet, Coco has proven them all wrong with her newest title. She’s blossomed into a fierce, kick-ass-and-take-names kind of player!

Like so many young black athletes, the pressure of being the best is a heavy one, but as Coco has proven, being the best isn’t about what other people think is the best for you, it’s about what you think is your best!

After taking the Grand Slam title, Coco gave thanks to “the people who didn’t believe in me,” and said that “I’ve tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best, so honestly to those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you’re really adding gas to it.”

What! A! Baller! Coco has solidified herself as a force to be reckoned with in the tennis world, not only because of her power as a player, but because of her resilience and never allowing others to discourage her from being the best she can be.

And that’s really what we all aspire to be: the best version of ourselves that we can be. And we can be that, but it’s about believing in yourself. So this semester, believe in yourself even when others don’t. If you want to win, you can win; all you have to do is try.

Gauff has become an inspiration not just for athletes, but to any young individual that feels like the world will never let them win, or people who don’t want to see you do good things.

My advice is to follow in Coco’s footsteps and allow people’s water to be the gas to your flame. Once again, congratulations to Coco and I look forward to seeing her shine even brighter in the future!

Jade Maxwell can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Jade Maxwell, Columnist
Jade Maxwell is a English education major. This is her first year at The News.
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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