The 15-year-old tennis player Coco Gauff captivated Wimbledon – and the world – with a brilliant debut performance which took her to the fourth round.
But until the Daily Mail interviewed Gauff’s grandmother, a big part of Gauff’s story had been untold: her roots in St John Missionary Baptist Church, near her family home in Florida.
According to Yvonne Odom, Gauff’s maternal grandmother, the youngster’s gift for sustained focus was honed at the two-hour services. “If you’ve ever experienced a black church service, you would know we don’t do anything quick,” Odom said. “The songs are long, the sermon is long … I noticed that as a kid, she always paid attention … She’d take notes in a little notepad.”
The night before Gauff’s victory over Venus Williams last week, the congregation prayed for Gauff to win. She broke off her practice session to watch over video link.
An Irish priest who spent his life as a missionary in Zambia has said he was “surprised” to receive an honour from the Emperor of Japan.
Fr Jude McKenna, 84, was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays in recognition of his work teaching and promoting judo in Africa.
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