Coco Gauff etched her name in the history books on Thursday after becoming the youngest Grand Slam finalist after Maria Sharapova at the French Open. The 18-year-old American defeated Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 in her semi-final and will now face top-seeded Iga Swiatek on Saturday. After pulling off a historic victory in a must-win game, Gauff used the opportunity to convey an important message which demanded immediate action.
Post-landmark performance, Gauff demanded peace and an instant end to gun violence in America by writing a special message on a courtside camera. She wrote, “peace, end gun violence,” in the camera and later stated that she was shocked to hear about another gun-violence incident which happened hours before her highly-anticipated clash. Four people were reportedly killed at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma after an anonymous gunman fired upon strangers.
Similarly, several such incidents have taken place in recent times, which shook the Americans and demanded to end the gun violence. The illegal trade of weapons has become a matter of discussion. Shockingly, Gauff informed that the recent mass shooting in the Parkland school shooting in Florida had few of her friends inside the school at the time of the incident. The unfortunate incident affected her personally.
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“Luckily, they were able to make it out of it. I think it’s crazy, I think I was maybe 13 or 14 when that happened, and still, nothing has changed,” she said post-match. Adding further, she also claimed that it was the right thing to write the message, and she believes that real stakeholders who can resolve the prevailing must be watching the game, and her message may affect things positively.
“I know people worldwide are for sure watching,” added Gauff. She insisted that she will continue to speak out on political and social issues now that she has passed her 18th birthday and has the right to vote. “Since I was younger, my dad told me I could change the world with my racquet. He didn’t mean that by like just playing tennis. He meant speaking out on issues like this,” she concluded.