Patrick Mouratoglou believes it is only a matter of time before his protégé Coco Gauff wins a Grand Slam, adding she “has a lot of things to her game”.
Gauff announced her arrival on the big stage last year when, at 15 years and three months, she became the youngest player to reach the Wimbledon main draw in the Open Era.
She upset former world No 1 Venus Williams in the first round at SW19 and made it to the fourth round before losing to eventual winner Simona Halep.
At this year’s Australian Open she again beat Williams as well as defending champion Naomi Osaka before going down to Sofia Kenin, who went on to lift the title at Melbourne Park.
Mouratoglou feels the 16-year-old is a major champion in the making.
“I can see Coco getting to a final and winning a Grand Slam,” he said, adding “And I feel she is not that far away.”
“The match against Sofia Kenin in Melbourne showed Coco needs to improve yet. Of course she does. She still plays at an incredible level and the self-belief she has is so strong that she can surprise and maybe win a Grand Slam.”
Gauff is part of the Mouratoglou’s Tennis Academy and, although her mentor feels she already has a lot to her game, he sees plenty of room for improvement.
“Coco’s tennis is already big. She has a lot of things to her game; a big serve, unbelievable backhand, she does a lot of things. She is able to come to the net,” he said. “When it is a pressure point, she is able to go for it. She will also play a return volley to put pressure on her opponents.
“She already understands a lot of things in tennis, but still it is not enough. There is still some space for her opponents to win the points.
“Definitely there is still room for improvement. Her maturity is incredible at 16. That’s what stands out most for me. The ways she handles matches, it’s unique. But she is still only 16 and, when you are only 16, you still have so many things you need to improve, which is great.
“The players she has beaten in the Slams – Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka – and making the second week of a slam again after making the second week at Wimbledon, at that age, having so much to improve, it says so much about her as a person.”
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