Paris: American teenager Coco Gauff called for an end to gun violence in the United States on Thursday after defeating Italian Martina Trevisan in the French Open final. She became the youngest French Open finalist in 21 years and set up a showcase clash with world number one Iga Swiatek.
In a message written on an on-court camera at the end of the match, the 18-year-old wrote “Peace End Gun Violence” followed by a heart.
“I think I am in a mind now like it does not matter,” Gauff said when asked about pressure ahead of Saturday’s final — her first in a Grand Slam — against top seed Iga Swiatek.
“I am going to be happy regardless. My parents are going to love me regardless. So I am going into it as another match,” she said.
“Yeah it’s a Grand Slam final but there are so many things going on in the world right now, especially in the United States, a lot of stuff is happening right now. I am not going to stress over a tennis match.”
"Ever since I was young, you guys know I use my platform to bring attention to topics and today was one of those days."
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 2, 2022
In recent days, the United States has seen a spike in gun crime and mass shootings. These include four individuals slain by gunfire at a Tulsa medical building in Oklahoma on Wednesday, as well as the May 24 attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 students and two instructors, and a grocery store attack in Buffalo, New York, which killed ten people.
And even according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll done last week, the majority of Americans want stricter gun legislation.