‘I Was Lying’ – Coco Gauff Says She Doesn’t Want to Be the ‘Next Serena’

Published 08/24/2022, 10:11 PM EDT

It is difficult to imagine that Coco Gauff, at just 18 years old, is amongst the elite group of tennis stars on the WTA Tour. Such has been the authority with which the American tennis sensation has been playing over the past couple of years. Further, she has had a memorable 2022 season so far, making it to the finals of the French Open in both singles as well as doubles.

The 18-year-old is one of the few players who are dominant in both singles as well as doubles. She recently achieved the ranking of world number one in doubles. Owing to her raging success, Gauff has often had comparisons with the American legend, Serena Williams. However, she recently revealed why she didn’t want to be the next Serena.

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Coco Gauff on her comparisons to Serena Williams

The American sensation featured in the cover story for ESPN recently where she detailed her comparisons to Serena Williams. Talking about this, she said, “My goals are the same. But the mentality behind them is different. I want to enjoy the tough moments.”   

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Coco Gauff of the United States hits to Magda Linette of Poland on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Further, she added, “For a long time, I was stepping onto the court trying to be the next great American whatever, the next Serena Williams. But that’s not why I play tennis. I used to say I wanted to be the greatest because that’s what people wanted to hear. Now I say it because it’s what I want for myself.”

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Opening up about the rising pressure on her, Gauff said, “I got too caught up on what people thought about me when I lost. I was lying, I lied a lot. I was feeling pressure, but I didn’t want to believe it.”

Gauff is doubtful for the US Open

The 18-year-old had a major injury scare at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. During her first-round match against Marie Bouzkova at the tournament, Gauff had to retire midway through the second set owing to an injury. The American teenager was understandably emotional as she exited the tournament in Cincinnati. 

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This untimely injury setback casts major doubt on Coco Gauff’s US Open participation. However, she’ll look to get back fit in time for the Grand Slam tournament starting next week.

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Vatsal Shah

1323 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

Edited By: Veer Badani

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