‘Some experts ventured Coco Gauff had already reached her limit – she proved them wrong’
Tennis coaching great Toni Nadal has lauded Coco Gauff for winning the 2023 US Open to prove “experts” who felt she “had already reached her limit” were wrong.
The Spaniard hailed Gauff’s ability to “endure pressure, comparisons and comments” and described her as “a very sensible athlete” who has “good perspective.”
Gauff defeated Aryna Sabalenka, who has since become world No 1, in three sets in the US Open final earlier this month to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.
The American is at a career-high ranking of world No 3 following a superb run – winning 18 of her last 19 matches and three of her last four tournaments.
After an opening round defeat to Sofia Kenin at Wimbledon, Gauff won the Washington title, reached the Montreal quarter-finals and secured her first WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati, before her New York triumph.
In his column for El Pais, Nadal shared his thoughts on Gauff’s major breakthrough and praised the way she has handled pressure and also defied her doubters.
“With this incredible victory, the Atlanta tennis player has managed to take a big weight off her shoulders. At the age of 15 she became the youngest player in history to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon,” wrote the Mallorcan.
“The promise of the women’s circuit and the great hope of North American tennis. From that moment on, she had to endure pressure, comparisons and comments. In recent times, some experts ventured with surprising avidity that the player, despite her very young age, had already reached her limit.
“I’m glad that, with tenacity, work and great education, she managed to prove them wrong. I don’t know her personally, but seeing her celebration full of emotion, and, at the same time, far from the stridency of this histrionic current world, she seems to me a very sensible athlete.”
Nadal also expressed his admiration for the attitude and perspective the 19-year-old star has despite her young age.
“I also found her statements at the press conference after her triumph in which she downplayed the importance of the pressure she endures very remarkable,” continued the 62-year-old.
“She admitted that, of course, she feels it and that normal nerves accompany her, but she added that she is aware of her privileged situation. One more example of good sense and good perspective, despite her youth.”
Nadal coached his nephew Rafael Nadal from his childhood until 2017, helping him win 16 of his 22 Grand Slam titles. The Spaniard has been working with world No 14 Felix Auger-Aliassime since 2021.
WATCH: Intense Felix Auger-Aliassime brushes off Laver Cup spat with Gael Monfils
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils shared some heated moments after the Canadian complained to the umpire during their Laver Cup clash.
More questions for Andy Murray to answer after another agonising defeat
Andy Murray blew an early lead as he crashed to defeat against Aslan Karatsev in the last 16.
Roger Federer reveals what he misses about tennis as Rafael Nadal surprises him
Speaking in an interview with former world No 1 Jim Courier at the Laver Cup, the 20-time Grand Slam champion reflected on how his life chan
Top coach spotted Coco Gauff’s potential very early on
Patrick Mouratoglou has revealed that Coco Gauff left a big impression on him during their first meeting.
British star set for rankings breakthrough after a decade on the ATP Tour
Liam Broady set to break into the top 100 of the ATP rankings for the first time.
Guadalajara proves a balm for Maria Sakkari’s suffering once again
Maria Sakkari feels that the bond between herself and Guadalajara has grown closer after another deep run in the Mexican city.
Novak Djokovic hits raw nerve with tennis chiefs after latest controversial comments
Djokovic has made some radical proposals that would ensure the huge amounts of cash being generated by gambling goes to tennis players.
Ben Shelton salutes the three players who have taken him under their wing
Ben Shelton has paid homage to the brotherhood of the top American men in the game.
Can Cameron Norrie still reach the ATP Tour finals powered by strong Asian swing?
Cameron Norrie is out to reach the ATP Tour finals this term.