Tennis phenom Coco Gauff is taking the fight to the coronavirus. Gauff, who turned 16 last Friday, wants only one belated birthday gift: her social media followers and tennis fans around the world to help UNICEF, a United Nations agency, in its response to the coronavirus.
Here’s how Gauff, the youngest tennis player ranked in the top 100 by the Women’s Tennis Association, is doing her part in the midst of a global pandemic.
Coco Gauff has a Facebook fundraiser to fight the coronavirus
Coco Gauff is trying to use social media to her advantage during the coronavirus pandemic. Gauff posted a fundraiser on her verified Facebook page last Friday, which was her 16th birthday.
“For my birthday, I’m fundraising to support UNICEF’s COVID-19 response. UNICEF has been working closely with governments and partners in their global efforts, providing communication, supplies, healthcare, education and more. They’re on the front lines of this fight against the pandemic, and it would mean so much to me if you could donate.”
Gauff had raised $717 of the $5,000 she hopes to raise as of publication.
There are 155 announced cases of the coronavirus linked to Gauff’s home state of Florida. Gauff lives in Palm Beach County, which has eight total cases as of Monday afternoon.
What does UNICEF do, and why is Gauff helping them?
UNICEF is a United Nations agency That primarily works to help children across the world. The company operates out of New York City and was funded in 1946 after World War II.
“For over 70 years, UNICEF has been the defender of children around the world, regardless of gender, religion, race or economic background,” UNICEF’s website reads. “When the world’s most vulnerable need a champion in the face of conflict, disease or exclusion, UNICEF has been there.”
UNICEF has partnered with all of the United States’ major professional sports leagues, in addition to the Special Olympics and WWE.
Gauff is one of the world’s top tennis players despite her age
Coco Gauff has impressed many in the tennis world with both her play and her maturity over the past year. Gauff reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in her first major championship appearance last July. She also advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open and won her first WTA title in Linz, Austria to end the 2019 season.
Gauff recently became the first 15-year-old to enter the top 50 of the updated Women’s Tennis Association rankings. Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva entered the top 50 at the same age in 2005. Gauff lost to Sofia Kenin, the top-ranked American player, in three sets during the round of 16 on Jan. 25 in Melbourne.
Gauff advanced to the quarterfinals in the Australian Open doubles tournament with partner Catherine McNally before the two lost in straight sets.
Gauff recently released a video recorded when she was 11 years old. The video shows Gauff, going by her birth name Cori, expressing her future tennis goals.
“I’m funny, I always joke around a lot and I’m very competitive. I want to be the greatest of all time and win many Grand Slams.”