DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The city of Delray Beach and tennis fans in South Florida are celebrating a hometown hero.
Delray Beach's Coco Gauff won the U.S. Open at just 19 years old.
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WPTV spoke with the man who coached her when she was learning the ropes of the game.
Mark Williams said he coached her from ages 9 to 11 at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.
Sunday morning, while Williams was coaching his first-ever client, he spoke to WPTV about Gauff's talent.
"I was crying like her father was crying. It was amazing," Williams said about her most recent victory.
She defeated Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday.
Williams is still in awe of her win but said she's always shined on the court.
"She was a little something then," he said about the time he coached her about a decade ago. "Now, she's grown tall, but the tenacity and the ability to keep fighting over and over again."
He said those skills gave her that first Grand Slam title.
Her family was also watching, including her grandmother Yvonne Odom.
"I'm so glad she played well," she said.
Gauff, who born in Atlanta, began playing tennis at 6. When she was 7, her family moved back to Delray Beach to have better training opportunities.
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For tennis players and fans in Delray Beach, like Williams, this is a moment filled with joy on and off the court.
"One hundred percent," he said. "Everybody here in Delray is super proud of all her accomplishments. She's a total inspiration to not just black young girls around the country, but people from all around the world."