Speaking to Bloomberg’s Jason Kelly, Maria Sharapova expressed her admiration for Coco Gauff‘s impressive skills and outstanding character, identifying them as particularly positive aspects within the new generation of women’s tennis players.
The retired five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova is optimistic about the future of American tennis, especially now that the 19-year-old Gauff is the reigning US Open champion. It’s interesting that Sharapova points to Gauff’s past disappointments and failures as positive experiences that have helped her build character and create a cushion for upcoming setbacks in her career.
The former world No.1 Sharapova said:
I really think she was the best thing that could have happened to women’s tennis. And I like the way in which way she won. She was someone that had the ability, the talent, the voice, already had her platform. I think the expectations were so high and she didn’t quite meet them in the first few years. The fact that she had to go through those ups and downs, and then go through it and then achieve something huge… she already has the breathing space to fail, then get back on the stage, as opposed to some athletes who come out young, are victorious, and just it takes a long while and sometimes they can never find their true self, like going back to the basics.
Gauff is currently ranked No.3 in singles and No.1 in doubles. The teenager was among the first players to qualify for the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun in singles and doubles with partner Jessica Pegula.