Coco Gauff's social media presence often belies her status as a global superstar and one of the world's highest-paid athletes. In an era where more and more celebrities are outsourcing their social media, or forgoing it completely, Gauff is the complete opposite: The 19-year-old is often her authentic self online—a microcosm, perhaps, of being a high-profile member of the digitally-native Generation Z.

Visit Gauff's TikTok account, for example, and you'll find that it's not all that different than an account belonging to a typical American teenager: It's dotted with choreographed dances with her brothers as well as her mom and dad, Beyoncé lip syncs, and "get ready with me" videos made famous by fashion and beauty influencers.

But there will be moments, too, where you'll remember who the account belongs to: Gauff's US Open-winning TikTok, for example, has been viewed, to date, more than 10 million times.

With all that said, Gauff's not immune to the dark side of social media—and that fact was integral to the overall narrative of her 2023 season.


A staple in the public eye since age 15, Gauff admitted, more than once, to being plugged in to what her detractors say on social media—which reached a fever pitch after a first-round loss to fellow American Sofia Kenin at Wimbledon.

"'She sucked,' 'choke,' 'overhype,' 'fluke' and these i consider the nice négative comments," she wrote on X, the platform formerly called Twitter, in November, in response to direct criticism from someone who purported to be a fan.

"[S]ome of you forget I am a person behind the racquet. So yes even if it is slightly negative I block. Because my mental state cannot take it every hour of the day."

"[R]eason why I stay active on socials is because of my fans," she continued. "To see their nice comments and support. It keeps me going. Twitter is the worst platform. My fans on other socials know I interact with them. I even made a separate TikTok account to interact with my supporters."

But, ultimately, Gauff got the last laugh, famously saying in the aftermath of her US Open victory that she used those criticisms as fuel to earn herself a long-awaited major coronation.


"I see the comments. People don't think I see it but I see it. I'm very aware of tennis Twitter. I know y'all's usernames, so I know who's talking trash and I can't wait to look on Twitter right now," Gauff said after beating Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open final.

"I realize, you know, sometimes people have different personalities and some people need to shut off the comments and not look at them. But I'm an argumentative person. I'm very stubborn. My parents know. If they tell me one thing, I like to do the other.

"So I really told myself, literally up until, like, 10 minutes before the match, I was just reading comments of people saying I wasn't going to win today. That just put the fire in me."

Will that fire continue to blaze in 2024? Only time will tell.