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  Debate

Debate

Did Emma Navarro's billionaire father's influence play a key role in her win over Coco Gauff?

 “I lead a double life”, Emma Navarro once said. Being a high school student and an international tennis player is definitely a little hectic and overwhelming at times. However, in her years at Charleston Day School, Navarro got used to it when she was 16-year-old. And now after 7 years, the fate and confidence of Emma have taken such a turn that she managed to push the World No. 2 Coco Gauff into“a dark place”. Emerging from a family of businessmen, the WTA star barely had anything to derive from her family, but a magical tactic that his father followed.

Emma recently secured her biggest career win by taking down Coco in straight sets at Wimbledon. The victory that came with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3, also marked her first-ever entry into a Grand Slam quarterfinal, making it the biggest win of her career. While everyone was surprised to see how she managed to cope under such extreme levels of pressure, the answer lay in a trick that her yoga practitioner father taught.

In her post-match interview, Navarro shared the reason behind not losing her calm by relying on breathing exercises. “It’s not something that I really have to work on,” she said, making it clear that the practice comes out of her father’s interest in yoga. “Definitely this summer I’ve dealt with more emotions and I guess nerves than I have in the past just playing on bigger stages and higher stakes. So trying to breathe—my physio always makes me breathe. So yeah, I think breathing is a big thing,” the WTA star further added.

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What was the key factor in Emma Navarro's win over Coco Gauff?

Father's calming influence

Navarro's skill

Gauff's mistakes

Navarro's strategy

Navarro’s calm approach might have a lot to do with her father, Ben Navarro. A businessman and billionaire with a net worth of $3 billion as of June 2024, Emma’s father also has a keen interest in keeping his mind and body fit with the help of yoga and other spiritual/body activities. “I’m a big yoga practitioner,” he revealed in an interview along with mentioning that yoga was part of the 2019 Charleston Open tournament, which he purchased that same year. “For example, there was a yoga event this morning… So that was particularly fine,” he said.

During an interview in 2023, Emma, then a student at Ashley Hall, was asked: “You are a senior at Ashley Hall this year. What is a typical week for you as a high school student and world class tennis player? How do you manage both?” To which Emma responded, “Some of my friends joke that I lead a double life…When I am at home, my typical week day usually starts at around 7:00 a.m. with either fitness or yoga…”

It won’t be wrong to say that Emma has embraced the art of Yoga which truly reflects in her calm and composed demeanor on court. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Emma has given hints of a special connection with his father.

Emma Navarro admits the role of his father in dropping “wisdom”

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In an interview, the WTA star was asked about the influence that her Billionaire dad has on her, in terms of learning and growth. Emma, who has always admired her father, expressed how he has been a consistent source of wisdom. “I gotta give a lot of credit to my dad.”

“He’s probably the smartest guy I know and has dropped a lot of knowledge and wisdom on my siblings and I over the years,” Navarro mentioned. Along with that, she also stated that her father has also contributed to the making of her perspective to see things. “He’s taught me a bunch about the perspective I need to take,” she added.

Navarro’s parents, Ben and Kelly, have been her unwavering supporters since she first stepped onto the court. Their presence has been a constant throughout her tennis journey. Emma credits her father’s mantra, “never give up,” as a guiding principle that continues to shape her approach to everything she does. The strong bond between Emma and her parents was evident during her debut at the 2019 Charleston Open, a tournament owned by Ben.

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In a heartwarming interview with Tennis Channel, they reminisced about this special moment. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I lost a couple nights sleep going up into the tournament because it’s the first time she had a chance to play on a stage like that, and you just don’t know,” Ben said at the time, adding, “I know if I had to do it I probably wouldn’t have been able to swing the racket.” The proud dad concluded, “If you make me talk about it too much, I’ll start crying right here on the set.”

This shows how Emma’s current form and presence have a fair share of Ben Navarro’s lessons. As she now looks forward to the quarter-final showdown against Jasmine Paolini, only time will tell if the breathing exercises can help her surpass this challenge as well.