After defeating her idol Venus Williams at Wimbledon last week, 15-year-old tennis phenom Cori “Coco” Gauff has caught the attention of a number of A-listers, including Michelle Obama.

“She’s one of my role models,” Gauff said of the former First Lady during a press conference on Saturday (July 6), PEOPLE reports. “So it was just cool to see that she knows I exist.”

Gauff, who is the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open Era, pulled off a stunning comeback at Wimbledon to beat Polona Hercog in three sets on Friday, advancing to the fourth round on Monday.

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Despite knocking Williams out of the Wimbledon tournament, the tennis superstar had nothing but praise for Gauff after their match-up.

“I think there are some 15-year-olds, like me, who wouldn’t know what to do at Wimbledon,” Williams told reporters. “Then you have a 15-year-old like Coco who knows what to do.”

“I think she’s definitely on a different level, so I think she’s totally capable and ready, to be honest,” she noted when asked if Gauff could win the entire tournament.

Taking the tournament by storm has also left the budding athlete star struck in the process. Asked what her favorite moment at the All England Club has been, Gauff told reporters on Saturday: “Jaden [Smith] and Michelle Obama tweeting about me. Yeah, the tennis is obviously great, but that is definitely a plus to it.”

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On July 5, Obama tweeted, “Coco is terrific” after the Florida teen’s victory over Hercog.

“We don’t talk personally. I don’t have her number or anything. I would like that,” Gauff said about Obama’s tweet, according to CNN. Adding, “Just the way she kind of handles herself. When she was, when Mr. Obama was in office, she got a lot of slack for it, but I think she carried herself well the whole term.”

During the same press conference, Gauff shared her excitement over Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Lawson, cheering her on. “I was, like, screaming. I hope Beyoncé saw that,” she said of Lawson’s Instagram post. “I hope she told her daughter about me, because I would love to go to a concert.”

Gauff also has no shame about being a Jaden Smith superfan, so she was equally stoked when Will Smith’s son gave her a shout out after her outstanding Wimbledon performance.


“I don’t know if I want to go live [on Instagram] again because of that, but I was so happy,’ she said. “I mean, I have looked up to Jaden for so long. People who follow me know that’s all I post about. I kind of slowed down on it a little bit, but still, it was pretty exciting for me.”

Gauff was eliminated Monday at Wimbledon by No. 1 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3.