Coco Gauff reveals that tennis is not her top priority

Coco Gauff talks to the media

Coco Gauff has admitted that tennis is not the most important thing in her life.

Gauff would count her sport and career high on her list of priorities but there were things that trumped tennis for her.

Speaking ahead of the Qatar Open, Gauff said that it was important for her to use the platform she has been given to be a voice for marginalised communities and individuals within her community.

Gauff claimed that in terms of her own identity, her tennis career was considerably less important to her than the pillars of her life.

“I think for me it’s always important to speak up if there is issues that I care about,” Gauff said from Doha.

“For me, being a tennis player, it’s second, third, fourth, fifth to who I am as a person.

“I always try to keep, you know, God first, family and friends, tennis, and community — you know, friends, family, and community before tennis.

“So, yeah, I think it’s important that I continue to just speak up and be a voice for the voiceless,” she rounded off.

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Given that the Middle East was another location with a sizable fan base from minority populations facing a variety of challenges, Gauff views playing there as an essential aspect of the job.

In fact, the World No 3 stated that she felt people could relate to her much better after visiting Qatar and other Arab nations for the same reason.

“I definitely feel when I play in places where there are more minorities, it does feel truthfully like a connection, and we all have different struggles in the world, depending on our race or background,” Coco Gauff said.

“Hopefully it is something we can connect on, being different or being perceived different than how we actually are. So I do, you know, feel a connection a little bit here or just anyplace where I play where, you know, it’s more minorities. I feel like I feel that in the crowd here and I feel like when I’m walking around the site here, I feel like people connect with me on that,” she added.

Gauff went on to say that despite their initial lack of commonality and dissimilar appearances, she felt really welcomed by the people of Qatar.

“You know, even though we are different, we look completely different, but being a minority in the world especially, you know, not so much in the Middle East but in the world, especially when I’m on the Western side of the world, it definitely is understanding,” Gauff said.

“So I think they understand that, and me being here, definitely I feel that connection. I do feel very welcome with the people here. I think the people are excited to have me here. That just makes me excited to play here,” she added.

Gauff will open her Qatar Open campaign in the round of 32 against Katerina Siniakova after the Czech defeated Donna Vekic in the first round on Sunday.

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