Gauff was tipped for greatness after reaching the Wimbledon last-16 as a 15-year-old.
Cori Gauff admitted there was time when she probably got too caught up in the “next Serena Williams” hype, but now she is having a different approach. Gauff, 18, introduced herself to the tennis world three years ago when she became the youngest player ever to qualify for Wimbledon.
After stunning Venus Williams as a 15-year-old teenager and reaching the Wimbledon last-16 in her debut, Gauff was tipped for greatness. “For a long time, I was stepping onto the court trying to be the next great American whatever, the next Serena [Williams].
But that’s not why I play tennis. I used to say I wanted to be the greatest because that’s what people wanted to hear. Now I say it because it’s what I want for myself,” Gauff told ESPN.
Gauff hopes to meet Serena Williams at the US Open
23-time Grand Slam champion Williams is retiring at this year’s US Open and Gauff has never had a chance to play one of her idols.
“I’m hoping my draw can work out, so we play each other,” Gauff added. After Gauff reached the Wimbledon last-16 as a 15-year-old, she started getting compared to the Williams sisters. At the time, Gauff was trying to show that she wasn’t feeling pressure and that it wasn’t really negatively affecting her.
“I was lying,” Gauff admitted. “I lied a lot. I was feeling pressure, but I didn’t want to believe it.” Gauff reached her first Grand Slam final at this year’s French Open. Gauff didn’t win the French Open, but she hasn’t given up on her goal of winning a first Grand Slam before this season ends.
“It’s my favourite Slam,” Gauff said of the US Open. “Playing in front of the home crowd. I hope I can win in front of them. That’s the goal, but we’ll see. I know one day I’ll hold the trophy there”.