CARROLLTON, Texas - Earlier this month, 15-year-old women’s tennis sensation Coco Gauff made a run at Wimbledon that captured the attention of the entire sports world.
Coco became the youngest player to ever qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon, then won several matches including a victory over Venus Williams.
But Coco wasn’t the only American teenager to make waves at Wimbledon. Carrollton’s Savannah Broadus considers Coco a friend. And she made a run of her own in London – one that ended with hardware.
At 16 years old, Savannah already knows what she wants.
“To play professional tennis,” she said.
And she’s already going all in on her tennis dream, trading in a normal high school experience for homeschooling.
She said it wasn’t easy.
“No. I mean I was leaving behind some of my really good friends. I made a pros and cons list, talked to it with my mom, my dad, my coach. I think it just helps us in the long run,” she said.
But it’s safe to say her sacrifice is already paying off. This month, she qualified for the girl’s double draw at Wimbledon. And after coming in unranked, she and her partner Abigail Forbes made it all the way to the finals.
“I went to bed thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m not only at Wimbledon. I’m in the finals of doubles. I could be a Wimbledon champion,’” Savannah said.
And then they won the title.
Savannah said other professional players like Serena Williams have inspired her over the years.
“Yeah, Serena Williams, definitely. I feel like that’s an obvious answer, but she’s just changed the game so much especially as like an African American girl tennis player,” she said.
Some in the tennis community believe Savannah could be the next to inspire. Black Tennis Magazine wrote, “Only time will tell if this doubles team is ready for the WTA tour. But for now, fans should support and lift them up as champions and the future of black tennis.”
“I think that’s a great honor to be recognized as having fans and being acknowledged as one of the few – two African-American girls winning a championship. I just gives me a lot of motivation, a lot of pride as well,” she said.
Savannah is currently ranked 28th in the world for ITF junior players.
She is set to compete at the U.S. Open in September.