Atlanta native Coco Gauff helping upgrade city tennis courts, inspires young athletes

Coco is set to play in US Open Women’s final Saturday, but her story begins in Atlanta.

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Coco Gauff is dominating the tennis world. She’s set to play in US Open Women’s final Saturday, but Coco’s story begins right here in Atlanta.

Earlier this year she returned to help transform some of the city’s public tennis courts.

Atlanta resident Joseph Stagnaro and his nephew Nicholas say they play tennis at Brownwood Park several times a week. They said lately when they’re not working on their serve, they’ve been glued to the TV.

“Watching Coco, we were watching the game last night, we’ve been staying up late, trying to catch all of her matches,” Joseph Stagnaro said.

Gauff is now helping to upgrade the courts that Joseph, Nicholas and so many other Atlanta residents frequently set foot on.

“For a tennis star to be focused on our local park, that was super exciting,” Stagnaro said.

Gauff is collaborating with local organizations to breathe new life into this park and its tennis courts.

According to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, “Coco is collaborating with ‘Art in the Paint’ to create a signature design for the park’s tennis courts.”

In July the department said actress and producer Storm Reid’s hope is to “continue to restore parks in underprivileged neighborhoods across the country through her philanthropic initiative, ArashiBlu 1720 One Park at a Time.”

Gauff and Storm were at Brownwood Park in July for the groundbreaking.

“She’s a phenomenal athlete but she’s also a phenomenal person who sees the potential in kids and wants to make them realize that potential,” East Atlanta Kids Club Executive Director Ryan Downey said.

Downey and others with East Atlanta Kids Club were also at the groundbreaking.

Many in Atlanta are excited to watch Gauff on Saturday and cheer her on.

The women’s singles final is Saturday at 4 p.m.

Rachel Aragon

Rachel Aragon

Prior to joining Atlanta News First, Rachel Aragon spent the last three years as a reporter and fill-in anchor at WBFF, the FOX affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland.