Rising tennis sensation Coco Gauff brought into the open about her mental struggles prior to her breakthrough at the Wimbledon Championships 2019. She revealed that her swift rise on the professional tour did not happen without any suffering.
Coco also said that she was “depressed” during the difficult phase of her life. Her father and coach Corey Gauff admitted that his daughter went through some tough times. However, he explained that she has never been diagnosed with depression.
Last week, Coco told ‘Behind the Racquet’ that she was always the youngest to do the things which added pressure on her. Subsequently, these expectations stressed out the 16-year-old, which led her to contemplate stepping away from tennis for a year. “For about a year, I was really depressed”, Gauff added. However, Gauff’s parents sought to clarify her statements.
“That’s the thing that was alarming, and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up. She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression. There’s no medicine going on. This is a kid’s personal pressure that they put on themselves and how they deal with it and how they mature,” Gauff’s father told the New York Times.
On the other hand, ATP player Noah Rubin, who is also the founder of Behind The Racquet podcast, took all the blame on publishing the word ‘depression’ without going ‘deeper into what she meant’.
“It’s completely my fault that I didn’t go deeper into what she meant by depressed. I feel she was definitely sad and lost and questioning tennis at periods in the past. We spoke for about 30 minutes, and she sounded very honest. But the word ‘depression’ is a trigger word, and people start questioning things,” he told the Times.
“I could have said, ‘Hey, people throw that word around, so did you see a professional for this, or did you just feel deep sadness?”
Moreover, Rubin was extremely disappointed to take the Gauff family into. He also wished that people could have read the full story on the site to get a better picture. Nevertheless, Gauff came out of the tough times stronger and knowing herself better. Hence, instead of creating a hype around the “d-word”, we should try to take inspiration from her story overall.