Coco Gauff believes Serena Williams is still dangerous despite year break

Serena Williams in action

American youngster Coco Gauff thinks Serena Williams could be a serious title contender at Wimbledon despite her taking time away from tennis over the past year.

Gauff believes the fellow American can go far at this year’s grass court Grand Slam despite being a 40-year-old after a disappointing run last year when she was forced to retire due to injury in the opening round.

Although the 18-year-old thinks Williams has a fighting chance, she also suggested that this tournament could possibly be her swansong.

“As a player we all know she’s at the end of her career,” the world No 12 said.

“You know you just don’t know how many more times you’re going to see her.

“I think whenever she’s in a tournament she’s always a contender to win, even if she hadn’t played for a year.”

On the other end of the scale, Gauff is only just getting started in the tennis world, first introducing herself as a 15-year-old back in 2019 when she reached the last 16 at Wimbledon.

“Honestly I feel like I’m a lot more relaxed than when I was considered the sensation or whatever,” she explained.

“I mean, I did well, wasn’t expecting to, but it felt like everybody wanted the results to happen now, now, now. I feel like I learned so much not to put pressure on now, now, now.

“This time around, even though I’m considered a favourite, I don’t feel like it as much as I did when I was 15 or 16.”

She could almost taste victory at the French Open earlier this year when she made it to her first Grand Slam final, but she was beaten to it by world No 1 Iga Swiatek, but it could put her in good stead ahead of her trip to SW19.

Gauff takes on Elena-Gabriela Ruse from Romania in the opening round of the Wimbledon Championships tomorrow, while Williams will face Harmony Tan from France in the first round on Tuesday.