15-year-old Coco Gauff has captured the attention of the world on the court and held that attention respectfully off of it.
Gauff, who has been called a tennis prodigy, first rose to public fame when she beat the legendary Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon. She continued on through 10 days, winning two more matches in the first week alone.
While the young superstar was knocked out of the Wimbledon Championships after losing seven straight sets to Simona Halep, ranked seventh in the world, Gauff has shown through the event her class and strength of character.
After beating out Williams, Gauff spoke of how Williams had inspired her career and thanked her for her influence. Then she knelt to pray.
Prayer before every match is a practice that has stuck with the young athlete because of her Dad's influence, Faithwire reports.
Gauff told the New York Times, "Before every match since I was eight, my dad and I say a prayer together... We don’t really pray about victory, just that me and my opponent stay safe. After the match, I was just thanking God for this opportunity."
It was an opportunity that might not have happened but for God - Gauff had been en route to the south of France when she received a call from Wimbledon organizers offering her a wildcard into the competition, despite her 313th world ranking.
She then drew "the dream draw," being tasked with facing Williams in the first round of the competition.
Through it all, the young competitor remains calm, collected, and determined to be the best, something else her father told her she could be at the age of eight. But she hasn't forgotten where she came from.
"My goal was to play my best. My dream was to win," Gauff says. "That’s what happened."