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Australian Open 2023: Coco Gauff, teen rushing to tennis

MELBOURNECoco Gauff admits that she tends to rush through life a bit.

18 year old Florida resident don’t linger in the city after tennis tournament ends: “Even if it’s a good place,” she said with a chuckle, “I like to leave.” When dinner is over, she’s not the type to linger in a restaurant: “I don’t like to sit and chat after I’ve eaten,” she said, eliciting her own laughter. “I want to go.”

Yes, in general, Gauff is ready to move on. In short, her philosophy: why wait?

“Honestly, I am very impatient. I wouldn’t say I’m impatient with people and things, but when it comes to getting things done, I’d rather get it done sooner rather than later,” Gauff told The Associated Press. “I think it has to do with my career; I never understood this before this conversation. But you want success to happen now.”

When Australian Open As the 2023 Grand Slam season kicks off on Monday morning (Sunday evening EST), Gauff is scheduled to start at the Rod Laver Arena against Katerina Sinyakova. Win that and then Gauff could face Emma Raducanou, who won the 2021 US Open as a teenager.

Keep going to the semi-finals and No. 7 seeded Gauff could just face No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who won the 2020 French Open as a teenager and has since won two more major titles. It will be a rematch of their French Open final last June, which Swiatek won.

Gauff is not the only young athlete who has achieved great success in her sport.

However, she grew up under the scrutiny and had to get used to it, making her Grand Slam debut in 2019, becoming the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history, and then garnering even more attention by beating Venus Williams on the way. advance to the fourth round of the All England Club.

“I have definitely grown a lot since then. I was 15 and I was brand new. I had a lot of confidence. There is still a lot of confidence. But I feel like I’ve become more down to earth,” Gauff said. “It all happened so fast that my head got — I wouldn’t say big because I’ve always been modest and all — but looking back, I think it happens fast.”

Her biggest stature since then and still is, in the words of her father Corey: “Her mental maturity.”

Swiatek’s view of Gauf?

“I feel, outside of court, that she is really humble. I am happy about this, because I know that from a young age, all eyes were on her,” Swiatek said. “I’m glad she’s doing well with it.”

Gauff has certainly been successful, both by becoming a better player and by finding her voice and speaking out on issues, whether gun violence in the US or the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. , or anything else that matters to her.

“She is wise beyond her years. Obviously, her parents should be very proud of this young lady they have raised and deserve a lot of credit for creating this foundation for her. But Coco, of course, Coco and herself,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon. “I’m thrilled that the process she went through to achieve this means to me that she has a good chance of maintaining this level in the long term, compared to those who just suddenly hit gold.”

On the court, Gauff knows there is a lot of work to be done – her forehand is still the shot that opponents usually test – to keep making progress and moving in the right direction.

Be that as it may, she has already placed in the top 10 in the singles rankings and reached No. 1 in doubles by qualifying in both tournaments of the 2022 WTA Final Season.

She reached her first Grand Slam final in Paris. Last week she won her third singles trophy in Auckland, New Zealand.

And now?

“The biggest goal every year,” Gauff said, laughing again, “is to win the Grand Slam.”

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.



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