Cori “Coco” Gauff is still only 15 years old, but the American talent is already widely known in the tennis world. Her dream 2019 season gained major momentum at Wimbledon, where she had a spectacular run to the fourth round, highlighted by a first-round victory over Venus Williams, a strong run at the US Open followed, and soon afterwards she won the Upper Austria Ladies Open title in Linz.
All these achievements convinced me to add the New Balance-clad youngster to my Fashion Retrospections this year. Note that early into the season Gauff played ITF tournaments (she was ranked No.684 at the start of the year), while in this apparel overview I will include only WTA events and Grand Slams.
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At the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells, February’s WTA 125K Series event, Gauff, then still a 14-year-old, wore the striped New Balance Spring Tournament Seamless Tank in voltage violet and light reef, paired with an all-white skirt.
At the Miami Open, Gauff won her first-round match against compatriot and fellow teenager Catherine McNally, wearing a light blue V-back tank and a white skirt.
Gauff didn’t make it through qualifying at Roland Garros, even though her outfit was deserving of the championship match. The New Balance Summer Tournament Tank and Skirt boast a sleek cut and sophisticated details such as refined stripes of gold and unique racerback design to round out a sporty design that is elegant, youthful and fashion-forward at the same time. It goes without saying that the outfit is fully functional as well — its breathable stretch knit fabric and NB Dry Tech work to keep players dry and comfortable.
During her breakthrough tournament at Wimbledon, Gauff was clad in the white version of the sleek ensemble described above. At closer look, you can notice that the tank includes mesh seaming at the waist, while the skirt boasts all-over mesh pinholes. In my opinion, the teenager was the best dressed player at the entire Grand Slam, where competition is the strongest not only when it comes to tennis, but when it comes to WTA fashion as well.
At the Citi Open, the WTA’s most-promising up-and-comer wore the coral New Balance Fall Rally Court Tank, featuring a V-shaped back and brushed fabric for a ultra soft feel, a clean white New Balance Core Rally Skirt, and the 996v3 shoe model. Gauff won the doubles title with Caty McNally in Washington DC, without dropping a set as unseeded wildcards.
Despite the WTA age restrictions, the 15-year-old continued her whirlwind second part of the season by debuting at the US Open as a wildcard. The American made the third round, where she was stopped by then-No.1 Naomi Osaka. For the important event, New Balance collaborated with Gitman Vintage, a line of American shirt-making company Gitman Bros., whose president Chris Olberding came up with a unique pattern — an aerial view of public tennis courts throughout New York City, as seen here in the Fall Rally Print Tank and Skirt.
Gauff rocked customized white New Balance shoes, featuring her slogan “Call me Coco” written in black marker.
The collaboration with Gitman Vintage also produced this New Balance Fall Tournament Slambray Tank and Skirt. The tank features tattersall detail at the neckline and back, a classic check customized in the colors of the courts from the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.
After the season’s final major, Gauff entered the Upper Austria Ladies Linz as a lucky loser and during the week she secured a Top 100 debut by reaching her first WTA quarterfinals, then recorded a first Top 10 win, over Kiki Bertens, and eventually went all the way to the title.
During her miracle week in Linz, Gauff was wearing the black version of the New Balance Fall Rally Court Tank, Core Rally Skirt and New Balance WC 996v3 tennis shoes. The American wore the same kit at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, where she lost in the first round of singles, but triumphed in doubles, again partnered with McNally.
I’m glad that the amazing New Balance designs got a lot of exposure in 2019 thanks to the world No.68 Coco Gauff’s success. Let me remind you, Coco signed a multi-year endorsement contract with New Balance in October 2018, when her aim was to become a Top 200 contender. She was 14 years old at the time, ranked 6th in the ITF Juniors Girls ranking, and commented on the partnership: “I wasn’t expecting this to come so early. I was expecting this to come two or three years from now.”
MORE 2019 FASHION RETROSPECTIONS:
- Angelique Kerber‘s tennis attire: All Adidas outfits of the brand’s only Top 20 representative
- Oceans, color-blocks, mesh & New York cityscape: Caroline Wozniacki‘s Adidas apparel in the last full season of her career
- Serena Williams‘ year with Nike through the fashion lens
- Denim, bees, engineered whites, NYC posters mark Simona Halep‘s Nike tennis fashion
- Naomi Osaka‘s transition from Adidas to Nike and Sacai looks
- Venus Williams‘ EleVen designs: Caracas, Ikat, Isola, Love Leopard, Bonita, Phoenix, Flashes, Iman & Oiseau tennis collections
- Ashleigh Barty & Fila during the world No.1 Australian’s stellar season
- Elise Mertens‘ tennis fashion in the year she takes the baton as Lotto‘s leading representative
- Maria Sharapova embraces prints in 2019 Nike dresses
- Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ 2019 with Lucky in Love: Tattoos, hot rods and sheer crop tops marked another bold fashion year
- Julia Goerges continues to embrace simplicity in Asics‘ technologically-advanced apparel