‘Made Me Believe That I Could Dominate Too’ – Coco Gauff on Serena Williams’ Huge Influence on Her Tennis Career

Published 08/09/2022, 11:32 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2022 Coco Gauff of the U.S. celebrates winning her second round match against Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu REUTERS/Paul Childs

Serena Williams’ illustrious tennis career needs no introduction. She has been on the tennis circuit for around 25 years, winning titles across the globe. Additionally, she has been a strong advocate for equality. Through tennis and her business ventures, Serena has aimed to bridge the gap between different communities. By doing so, she has inspired the next generation of players like Coco Gauff.

Recently, Serena made a comeback to tennis after a lengthy injury layoff. She won her first singles match at the National Bank Open on her comeback. Meanwhile, her compatriot, Coco Gauff, had a similar result, defeating Madison Brengle to enter the second round. After the match, Gauff opened up about Serena’s influence on her career.

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Serena Williams inspires Coco Gauff

During the post-match press conference after her opening round win at the National Bank Open, Gauff talked about the illustrious career of Serena and her influence on her career. She said, “I grew up watching her. I mean, that’s the reason why I play tennis.”

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2022 Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates during her first round match against France’s Harmony Tan REUTERS/Matthew Childs
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Further, she added, “Tennis being a predominantly white sport, it definitely helped a lot. Because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game. It made me believe that I could dominate too.”

Gauff on Serena’s retirement

Recently, the 23-time Grand Slam champion announced that the US Open will be her final tournament. Reacting to this news, Gauff said, “Yeah, I knew it was coming, eventually. I didn’t know if it was going to be this US Open or the next one. But, yeah, definitely, well, not really shocking but almost shocking news. Because she’s just been playing forever, my whole life.”

Aug 8, 2022; Toronto, ON, Canada; Serena Williams (USA) reacts after defeating Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) in first round play in the National Bank Open at Sobeys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Further, she went on to add, “I don’t know, a little bit sad because I have always wanted to play her. So I’m hoping that my draw in Cincinnati or US Open or even here can work out so we can play each other. Because that’s just one of my goals. But I think the legacy that she’s left on the world, just through tennis, I mean she still has, I mean, she’s not dead (laughing) but people are talking about it like she’s dying. No, no, she’s just moving on to different things.”

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Watch This Story: Venus and Serena Williams’ father King Richard once narrated how WTA players constantly drag him through the mud to be in the news 

Talking about Serena’s legacy, Gauff said, “But the legacy that she’s left through her tennis career is something that I don’t think any other player can probably touch. I think that the legacy that she will continue to leave throughout her life is something that can inspire many more generations.”

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After her straight-set win over Madison Brengle, Gauff will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the second round later today. Can the American sensation dig deep in Toronto? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Vatsal Shah

1216 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.

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