Coco Gauff’s US Open win in 2023 delivered 3.4 million viewers on ESPN, up +92% vs last year’s Women’s Championship making it the most-viewed Major Women’s Championship ever.
With the eyes of the world gravitating more and more towards the sport, players’ voices are being heard louder than ever.
Here are a selection of tennis players who are using their powerful voice to share the good news of Jesus:
1. Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff’s 2023 US Open win catapulted her into tennis superstardom.
The 19-year-old American is a devout Christian and has publicly spoken about her faith in the biggest moments of her career.
After winning the US Open, the former choir girl said:
“It means so much to me. That French Open loss was a heartbreak, but I realized God puts you through tribulations and trials, and that makes this moment even sweeter than I could imagine.”
The reporter then asked: “We saw you say a prayer, get on your knees, you have a lot of faith… how important has that been on this journey for you?”
Gauff replied: “It’s been so important, I don’t pray for results I just ask that I get the strength to give it my all and whatever happens happens.
You can watch her post-match interview in full here:
2. Christopher Eubanks
At the age of 27, Christopher Eubanks shot to prominence at Wimbledon, where in 2023 he shocked the world by reaching the Quarter Finals.
After years on the circuit, this was the breakthrough he’d been waiting for his entire life.
When asked about the reason for his sudden uptick in form, the 6ft 7′ tennis giant referenced his faith as playing a key role.
In an interview with TODAY, he said: “For so long, I tried to force it and I wanted it so so bad.
“It’s amazing when I just take a step back and just allow my faith in it, and in the process, and just my faith in general to just take over, good things started to happen.
“It’s not always easy, having faith isn’t always easy, but it definitely gets tested in those times and I think I was able to have strong faith and now I’m standing here talking to you guys.”
You can watch the full TODAY interview here:
3. Shelby Rogers
2020 US Open quarter-finalist Shelby Rogers first picked up a racket at just 4 years old.
At 31, she’s now entering the final years of her career and recently reflected on how she’s been able to balance a lifetime of dedication to tennis with her faith.
In an interview with Sports Spectrum, she said:
“For me, the biggest thing was finding an identity outside of tennis because I’ve played tennis my whole life and you get to a point where winning and losing becomes your value.
“So finding Jesus and placing my identity in him and who I am as a person… a child of God and that that doesn’t have to fluctuate with worldly success was really huge for me”.
4. Sloane Stephens
While not being overly vocal about her faith in the public eye, 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens has regularly posted on social media about her faith.
She most recently posted a bible verse from Philippians 4:13, which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
This verse is a reminder for Christians to persevere, share the gospel, and be content in any situation. Not on our own, but through Christ who strengthens us.
5. Alycia Parks
At just 22 years old, Alycia Parks has already broken into the top 50 players in the world, rising as high as 40 in August 2023.
On Instagram, the young American describes herself as ‘God’s warrior’ and refers to Psalm 46:5 which says:
“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”
This psalm encourages us to find hope and trust in God; in his power and providence, and his gracious presence with his people in the toughest of times.
For more stories on Christian tennis stars, head over to our latest articles.