Teen sensation and currently the top-ranked American player on the WTA Tour, Coco Gauff gave her thoughts on the news of Serena Williams about to retire from tennis once and for all after the 2022 US Open is played out. The 23-time Grand Slam champion announced the news yesterday and although the announcement had been around the corner, tennis fans nevertheless were sad to see the legend of the game bid adieu.
Both Coco and Serena are currently at the 2022 Canadian Open being played in Toronto and are into the second round after straight-set wins in the first round for both of them. Williams will turn 42 next month and given her off-court ventures and family life, Serena felt that she has been on the courts for a long time and now it’s time to sit back and enjoy her life off the court.
“I don’t think there will be another player that will do that,”: Coco Gauff on Serena Williams
Gauff has been long dubbed the next Serena for the manner in which Coco burst onto the scene and has shown great talent. Gauff turned 18 this year and has already 3 years’ worth of Tour experience showing great promise for American tennis fans. Despite this, Gauff has refused any comparison with Serena and paid a brilliant tribute to the former World No. 1 after she confirmed her place in the second round in Toronto.
“She’s just been playing forever, my whole life. The legacy that she’s left throughout her tennis career is something that I don’t think any other player can probably touch. I think that the legacy that she’ll continue to leave throughout her life is something that can inspire many more generations. I’ve learned a lot from them [Serena and Venus]. People always tell me that you’re going to be next whatever blah blah blah and Serena has been considered the GOAT for at least the second half of her career and she never succumbed to that pressure.
“I think she overcame it and I think that’s something I take from her and try to learn from it. Not that I’m at her level and experiencing the same pressure she is, but in the moment I try to emulate that. For me, I grew up watching her. That’s the reason why I play tennis and tennis being a predominantly white sport it definitely helped a lot because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game and it made me believe I could dominate too. She’s the GOAT. And undisputed too. In my opinion. But I don’t think that’s an opinion, it’s a fact.
“Serena for me is the GOAT. The GOAT of all GOATs. There will never be another Serena. What makes her the GOAT is her personality and all that she’s done off the court to fight for equality, to fight for young players like me and continue to lead in the way that she does and I think that’s what we really should be focused on. That’s just Serena. I don’t think there will be anyone who can do what she did, with all the adversity that she had to face, I don’t think there will be another player that will do that,” said Gauff as per Eurosport.
Gauff takes on reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the second round while Serena will take on Belinda Bencic in the second round. Having been placed in the opposite halves of the draw, Serena and Gauff could meet only in the finals provided the two Americans fight their way to the title match.