Coco Gauff’s path to French Open final, from prodigy to tour pro, age records

Coco Gauff
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Coco Gauff reaching the French Open final at age 18 is the latest in a string of remarkable teenage feats in her young career. A look at how she arrived at the biggest stage in tennis …

2017 U.S. Open: At age 13, Gauff finishes runner-up to fellow American Amanda Anisimova in the junior division. Gauff, who got a wild card into her first junior Grand Slam, was the youngest junior Grand Slam finalist since Martina Hingis in 1993.

2018 French Open: At age 14, Gauff wins the junior title over doubles partner Caty McNally. In the semifinals, McNally saved a match point against a 17-year-old Iga Swiatek, preventing a Gauff-Swiatek final. Gauff became the youngest junior Grand Slam champion since Hingis in 1994.

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2019 Wimbledon: At age 15, Gauff becomes the youngest player ever to make the Wimbledon main draw through qualifying. Wins her first-round match over Venus Williams, who earned the first two of her five Wimbledon titles before Gauff was born. Coco Mania ensues as Gauff wins her next two matches before falling to eventual champion Simona Halep. Gauff was the youngest player to reach the fourth round of a major since Anna Kournikova in 1996.

2020 Australian Open: Still 15, Gauff upsets Naomi Osaka in the third round, becoming the youngest player to beat a defending champion at a major since Jennifer Capriati in 1991. Gauff pushes eventual champion Sofia Kenin to three sets in a fourth-round defeat.

2021 French Open: After winning a tournament the week before, is seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time. Gauff, now 17, becomes the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Nicole Vaidisova in 2006. Again, she is defeated by the eventual champion, this time Czech Barbora Krejcikova, after squandering five set points in the first set of a straight-set loss.

2022 French Open: After celebrating high school graduation at the Eiffel Tower, makes the most of a wide-open draw by reaching the final without dropping a set. Gauff becomes the first woman in more than 40 years to make a Grand Slam final without facing a top-30 player. She is the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won 2004 Wimbledon at 17.

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Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028

Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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