By Ashley Marshall
CoCo Vandeweghe pulled one of the biggest upsets in the women’s draw at the 2017 Australian Open, shocking defending champion and world No. 1 Angelique Kerber in the fourth round. And she backed it up one round later, dismissing No. 7 seed and reigning French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza to advance to her first Grand Slam semifinal.
Here’s more on the big-serving American:
The CoCo Vandeweghe File
Residence: Rancho Sante Fe, CA
Current Rank: 20
Career-High Rank: 20 (January 2017)
Best 2016 Series Finish: Quarterfinals (Stanford)
- Prior to her breakout Down Under, Vandeweghe had been on the fringe of the world’s Top 32 players for several years. She finished 2014 at No. 40 and consolidated her position by ending both 2015 and 2016 at No. 37.
- Vandeweghe reached her first career tour final in the Series event in Stanford, Calif., the Bank of the West Classic, in 2012, defeating Jelena Jankovic and Yanina Wickmayer before losing to Serena Williams. And in 2014, she knocked off Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic to reach the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup as a qualifier.
- The 25-year-old holds two career singles titles on the WTA tour, both on the grass of ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, in 2014 and 2016. The event serves as a Wimbledon tune-up tournament and Vandeweghe, whose big serve and soft hands are perfect for grass, has had her best Grand Slam performances in southwest London, with runs to the quarterfinals in 2015 and the fourth round in 2016.
- In addition to her singles play, Vandeweghe is an accomplished doubles player. In 2016, she won the US Open mixed doubles title with Rajeev Ram, claimed a women’s title in Indian Wells with fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and reached the final at the US Open Series event in Cincinnati with Martina Hingis.
- The California native has represented Team USA on the biggest stages. She wore the red, white and blue at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was part of the Fed Cup team in 2010, 2015 and 2016. Elite competition runs in the family; her mother was an Olympic swimmer and her uncle and grandfather each played professional basketball for the New York Knicks.
- Vandeweghe won the US Open girls’ junior title in 2008 as a wild card. In a draw that featured several future American pros including Christina McHale, Nicole Gibbs, Lauren Davis and Madison Brengle, it was Vandeweghe who came out on top, winning the title without dropping a set.
They Said It!
“No, this is high. It's the first time I've ever beaten a world No. 1. And especially at a Grand Slam, I think it makes it that much sweeter. So it's pretty high definitely.” – Vandeweghe to reporters, after her win over Kerber, on where the result ranks in her career.