Maria Sharapova thinks Coco Gauff not winning a Grand Slam earlier “may be helpful” to the American. Gauff, who burst onto the scene when she was just 15 at 2019 Wimbledon, became a Slam champion at this past US Open, at the age of 19.
Now that Gauff has a Major in her collection, there will be more attention and expectations on the American. Sharapova, a former five-time Grand Slam champion, was just 17 when she won her first Slam at 2004 Wimbledon. “You won your first Grand Slam title when you were very young, even younger than Coco – 17 – and you repeated it – 2006 US Open champion.
I was wondering, what is awaiting Coco now? You’ve been in this position. Do you think she can handle it? We’ve seen other past champions that have crumbled under pressure. Can you tell, with your experience, this one’s going to make it, and this one will struggle?” Andrea Petkovic asked Sharapova on The Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.
Sharapova on Gauff’s early success
“I think her journey has been interesting. Because from the age of 16 she’s been the prospect and the target and everyone believed that she would get there. And it’s, perhaps I think from everyone’s expectations, it’s taken a little bit longer.
But I think for her that may be helpful. Because it took a few years to figure it out as opposed to coming out on top from the very beginning and then just being so surprised by everything that comes your way,” Sharapova said.
When Gauff made the Wimbledon round-of-16 as a 15-year-old girl at 2019 Wimbledon, many tipped the American to do great things in tennis. Now at 19, Gauff is a Grand Slam champion and enjoying a career-high ranking of No 3 in the world. Later this year, Gauff will also try to win her first WTA Finals title.