The French Open is underway, and with it has come a lot of conversation and scrutiny around the treatment of players, and rightfully so. However, there is a bright spot. Not only are both Venus and Serena playing in the tournament, but the older Williams sister is also teaming with 2019's tournament breakout star, Coco Gauff, in the women's doubles match. The 17-year-old Atlanta native has been compared to Venus in the press and grew up idolizing the sisters, so this is a full-circle moment, no doubt.
The pair faced off against Ellen Perez and Saisai Zheng on Wednesday morning at the tournament. This is the first time Gauff and Williams have played together as doubles partners. The former's usual teammate suffered an injury while the latter usually teams with her sister, Serena, to dominate opponents.
When her teammate went down, Coco had a limited amount of time to find a replacement before the deadline, and her team reached out to Venus' camp. "I wasn't expecting a yes, to be honest," said Gauff. "It was worth the ask. I'm happy she said yes." Williams said she was excited about the pairing during a news conference on Tuesday.
"She's so extremely talented that I'll definitely be expecting her to do all the work." Venus and Serena have won 14 major doubles tournaments, two at the French Open, the most recent being at Wimbledon in 2016.
Coco Gauff is one of many young tennis stars who have followed in the footsteps of the Williams sisters and seem to be poised to take over the sport for years to come. We love to see a passing of the torch!