Coco Gauff has been one of the great revelations of the WTA circuit in the last year after its brilliant irruption at Wimbledon, where with 15 years she was able to stand in the round of 16 of the tournament falling to Simona Halep, ultimately champion of the tournament.
However, the potential of Gauff, who managed to sneak into the Top-50 of the ranking in the month of February (now it is 52nd), has been a surprise for many … but not for Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams and one of its discoverers (Gauff trains at Patrick Mouratoglou's Academy). “It was incredible. She is different. It is something I have known since she came to the Academy when she was 10 years old. I spoke to her, I had an individual talk with her and I said to myself: 'she is different'”, the preparer confessed to The Guardian.
Mouratoglou also showed his amazement at Gauff's character both on and off the slopes, as demonstrated by the protest speech he gave after the death of the African American George Floyd in Minneapolis due to police brutality. “When you meet someone exceptional, you know it. I felt it immediately. Since that day, she hasn't stopped surprising me even though I knew she was special. At 14, she was more mature than some circuit players at 25 years old. Is incredible. He has a mental strength that is not normal. She has a self-confidence that helps her in tennis, But to be able to go and give a speech to his 16 years the way he did? You haven't seen it. Again, I was surprised. It's no surprise that it continues to amaze me, but it surprised me again. “
The coach also spoke about Mouratoglou's Ultimate Tennis Showdown, an exhibition tournament that will host some outstanding tennis players on the circuit before the return of the competition in late July. “We are not getting it right when it comes to renewing our fans, we are not attracting young people and new fans because the world changes around us. I don't think tennis has to change completely. After several weeks without live sport I thought we had a window to show tennis in a different way. “
Mouratoglou also discussed the possibility of moving the Masters 1,000 from Cincinnati to New York before the US Open. “It is a great idea, I am happy to see that the USTA has inspired people. I heard that the US Open is also considering another of our ideas, which is that there are coaches on the track, it would be fantastic. My goal is to help the transition of tennis for the future and help it grow instead of watching it fall because there are no new fans coming. I am sure that the ATP, WTA and Grand Slam will move now that we are at this point and it is fantastic because I have been passionate about tennis since I was a child. All I want is for tennis to be the greatest sport on the planet. “
Mouratoglou also analyzed how he expects the return of Serena Williams, his star player, who will return to play with 39 years. “I don't think six months make much difference. Six months ago she was 38 and a half and now she is on her way to 39, but I have not seen any change. It is the same for her and for everyone: she seeks motivation to continue growing. It is a challenge for everyone. “