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.
Gauff was just ten years old at the time, but Mouratoglou said that he felt like she was destined for greatness.
Her drive to succeed was already evident, and Mouratoglou said that she is a rare talent.
“I felt that she was someone so driven, so much confidence in her ability, and that wanted it so much that I felt she had the complete package to reach the top of the game,” Mouratoglou told CNN.
“When she left the office, I told the guys: ‘This one, we take her with us and she can be great’.”
He was stunned by Gauff’s willingness to keep going on the court when other young players faltered.
“The fitness test was incredible for her age,” Mouratoglou added.
“Her competitiveness when it came to playing matches against other players was impressive. She was able to beat players that were technically better than her because of her competitiveness.”
It wasn’t too long until the rest of the tennis world got in on the secret when it came to Gauff.
“Coco has been making history since she was a kid, literally,” said Mouratoglou. “At 13 and a half years old, she was in the finals of the US Open in juniors. At 14, she was winning Roland Garros in juniors.”
He feels that Gauff has been able to cope with the pressure of expectations and is set to be a big force in the game.
“She has learned to deal with [the pressure] at a young age, and that explains partly her ability to win her first grand slam final at only 19 years old,” said Mouratoglou.
“She can still improve so much – which is a good thing, by the way – in many aspects of her game, but I think with her drive, her team, her motivation and her abilities, she definitely can win a few [more majors],” added Mouratoglou.
“Americans say, ‘Sky’s the limit.’ I don’t see any limit and I would not give her any limits.”
Mouratoglou believes that Serena Williams, whom he has coached, and her sister Venus have launched many careers including Gauff’s.
“I think the Williams sisters have inspired a lot of African Americans and Black people in general,” the coach said.
“Before them, very few people of color have been at the top of the game in that sport.
“You feel it’s not a place for you because you don’t see any people that look like you there. And I think Venus and Serena really opened a big gate for people of color in that sport, and that’s amazing.
“When you see someone that looks like you, who is winning grand slams, making history, and there are two of them, you think, ‘maybe it’s possible for me, too.’
“And that’s the inspiration.”
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