Coco Gauff: The Christian choir girl who became a tennis sensation

Coco Gauff’s rise to tennis stardom is one of the most remarkable storylines in sport.

At just 15 years old, she burst onto the scene by becoming the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history, where she would go on to defeat the oldest player in the 2019 draw Venus Williams in the first round.

The American youngster became an overnight sensation and has gone on to become an established star in the women’s game, rising as high as No4 in the world rankings.

The best was yet to come, however, with the American sensation winning the US Open aged just 19, coming from one set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka and claim her first Grand Slam title.

Gauff is known for her incredible athleticism, shot-making, and fierce competitiveness – but it’s her Christian faith that laid the foundation for her success.

@cocogauff on Instagram.

Coco Gauff at church

Coco is a devout Christian and attends the Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Florida.

The church describes itself as ‘an educational, spirit-driven and filled church that offers every believer an opportunity to draw closer to God and every non-believer the occasion to accept Christ as their Savior.’

She is a member of the choir there and has mentioned that her faith is an important part of her life.

According to the Daily Mail, the day before her famous win against Venus Williams, Gauff’s mother texted their pastor and asked him to pray for Coco.

He did so during a service and Gauff’s grandmother Facetimed the young tennis star so she could hear the pastor and congregation pray for her.

Coco Gauff with her family.

Coco Gauff on prayer

In an interview with the New York Times, Coco mentioned that she and her dad say a prayer together before every match.

She said, “Before every match since I was 8, my dad and I say a prayer together.” She explained that the prayer isn’t for victory, but rather an expression of thanks to God and of dependence on him.

She continued, “We don’t really pray about victory, just that me and my opponent stay safe.”

The interview also describes how Gauff reacted to her life-changing win over Venus Williams, first waving to the crowd and then going to her chair where she, “squatted down, put her head against the butt of her racket and cried as she said a prayer.”

@cocogauff on Instagram.

Coco Gauff on how faith helps her deal with fame

Coco’s faith has also helped her deal with the pressures of being a young tennis star.

In an interview with Stylist, she mentioned that her faith helps her stay positive and focused on her goals. “I try to stay positive and not let the negative things affect me too much,” she said. “My faith helps me stay focused on my goals and what I want to achieve.”

The American’s faith has also helped her stay grounded and humble. In an interview with Because of Them We Can, she mentioned that her faith helps her remember where she came from and stay true to herself.

“I try to stay humble and remember that I’m just a girl from Florida who loves to play tennis,” she said. “My faith helps me stay grounded and remember what’s important.”

@cocogauff on Instagram.

Coco Gauff sharing her faith

The 18-year-old often refers to her faith.

Most recently after winning the US Open in September 2023, she 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.

“I’m so blessed in this life so I’m just so thankful for this moment and I don’t have any words for it to be honest”.

Similarly, after becoming the youngest player ever to win the Cincinnati Open, she said:

“I’d like to thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I spent a lot of nights alone crying trying to figure it out. I still have a lot to figure out, but I thank him for covering me.”

After winning her third WTA title, she also praised God in an Instagram post:

@cocogauff on Instagram.

‘Most importantly thank you God for continuing to bless me in this life. I am so grateful for it all.’.

Then after the completion of the 2022 season, she posted:

@cocogauff on Instagram.

‘2022 season is officially over and definitely one I’ll never forget. Thank you God for strengthening me at my lowest and highest points this season.’

Gauff also posted about how her faith helps her to overcome fears:

@cocogauff on Instagram.

‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil🖤’.

This is in reference to Psalm 23:4 which says: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

The Bible teaches that believers can find comfort in the face of all kinds of trials because God promises to be with those who are trusting in him. A faith that Coco Gauff clings tightly to.

For more stories on Christian tennis stars, head over to our latest articles.

9 thoughts on “Coco Gauff: The Christian choir girl who became a tennis sensation”

  1. All glory to Jesus , continue to share that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and I noticed that u always say a prayer when u were playing .Go for Gold and share your $$$ to expand God’s love .

  2. We thank God for the maturity He has given you to put everything in perspective.
    You are a wonderful ambassador for Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. How refreshing for one so young and successful to acknowledge the ultimate source of it all while giving honor and glory to her Lord Jesus Christ!

    May God continue to bless you & your family richly. May you continue to study God’s Word 📖🕯& apply it to your life & allow it to guide your steps 👣 through this life.
    My family & I are so happy 🤩 for your win today & have been fans from the beginning! We are a tennis 🎾family. Our son, Zarion, played D2 tennis at West Liberty University, close to Wheeling, WV. He just graduated this past May. He still plays USTA & ITF Adult Tournaments & wants to see how much more he can progress. We are members of the Lord’s church, the church of Christ, here in Parkersburg, WV. It is so encouraging & inspiring to see how you depend on God & give Him the glory! God bless you for that! We wish you all the best & pray you always put God 1st! We hope to see you play in Cincinnati, Ohio in the near future! 😊❤🙏

  5. Bless you, Coco! May the Lord help you to grow stronger in your faith and in your tennis career. You didn’t pray for results but I’m not ashamed to say that I did. I couldn’t watch it live though and I didn’t record it. Have to find a way to watch it now that you won. My heart can’t handle the tension. 😀

    Isaac William

  6. I like the fact that you put God first in everything you do. That’s soo amazing. Just has King Solomon did not ask for Riches and fame but rather asked God for wisdom to rule his people when he had the opportunity to ask God for everything, thats how you also pray. You don’t pray for results but rather you pray for strength to do what you do best. God gives the results. Keep that up, Champ. Continue to put God first and He will continue to bless you and your family. The Lord will take you far!!! Congrats on your win👏 💯🙏🏾

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