Serena Williams’ high praise for Coco Gauff: ‘I was nowhere near her level at 15’

Coco Gauff thumbs up

Impressive, smart, eloquent and a fighter are just some of the words that Serena Williams used to describe Coco Gauff after the teenager’s latest win.

The 15-year-old Gauff booked her place in the third round of a Grand Slam for the third consecutive time as she secured a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory over Sorana Cirstea at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Williams, meanwhile, advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tamara Zidansek and afterwards she was asked about Gauff’s performances.

“She’s just impressive all around, from her personality to the way she plays,” the 23-time Grand Slam winner said.

“I think it’s just all super impressive. I was nowhere near her level at 15 either on the court or off the court, not even close. I know kids are growing up different nowadays, so I’m not sure. But I was nowhere near as smart and eloquent as she is. It’s nice to see.”

Williams will take on Wang Qiang in the third round while Gauff has a mouthwatering clash against defending champion Naomi Osaka. The two Americans could meet in the quarter-finals should they both come through their next two matches, but Williams says that is still far away.

“We both have to win the next round, so we’ll see,” she said. “I think she has a good chance to keep winning. She’s a fighter. I have to do what I do, play everyone at every point, so we’ll see.”

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