Novak Djokovic says he will ‘keep going’ after US Open win
Coco Gauff’s dream of winning the US Open may have been realised on Saturday, but an interview she gave as a child reveals that she has much greater ambitions beyond just winning a Grand Slam title. The 19-year-old made amends for missing out on the French Open last year by beating new world No 1 Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 at Flushing Meadows, landing her maiden Slam title in the process.
The teenager has received plenty of praise on the back of her success, including from French coach Patrick Mouratoglou. But as he revealed, the young American is in a race with herself to become the sport’s greatest.
Mouratoglou uploaded a video on Instagram of Gauff being interviewed when she was just 11 years old. Looking and sounding wise beyond her years, she explains how she feels that she is one of the best players in the world amongst her peers.
She said: “I feel like I’m one of the best in the world in my age group. Even in higher age groups. I prefer not to say it because I’m not really a boastful person. I’m humble but when I know that I’m the best and I should always stay at the best.”
Gauff’s drive to become a professional tennis player was in her eyes, only the start of the journey. Even at such a young age, it emerges that she is targeting true greatness in the sport.
“And I was always told, ‘It’s easier to get to the top but it’s harder to stay there’, and my goal is just to stay there and be better, and then when it comes to professional, I’ll be the greatest of all time,” she added.
Gauff first came to prominence as a 15-year-old when she stunned Wimbledon by knocking five-time champion Venus Williams out in the first round.
She now has six career titles to her name in singles, including one Grand Slam and is behind only Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek in the world rankings.
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Still a teenager, time is very much on Gauff’s side when it comes to her goal of becoming the greatest of all time, but she has quite a job on her hands just to get even close to achieving such a lofty feat.
Serena Williams made her final appearance before retirement at the US Open last year, but left the sport having won a staggering 23 Grand Slam titles – the most of any woman in the Open era.
And Australia’s Margaret Court, now 81, can claim to go one better, having clinched 24 major titles in an unmatched career that started in the pre-Open era. She also won a staggering 192 career titles – a total that is unlikely ever to be bettered. Serena Williams won 63 titles in her career, the fifth-most in history.
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