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Coco Gauff is the exciting future of tennis and can draw more people to the women’s game with the promise of a new rivalry just around the corner. That’s the view of Serena Williams’ former coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, who believes teenager Gauff possesses the star quality to remain at the top of the pile for years to come.
The 19-year-old became the first American teenager to win the US Open this month when she defeated new world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in front of a delighted home crowd at Flushing Meadows.
In doing so, Gauff lived up to the promise she had shown as a 15-year-old at Wimbledon when she stunned SW19 by beating five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round before making it as far as the final 16 on her first appearance at the All England club.
The Atalanta-born prodigy was a beaten finalist at the French Open last year, losing out to former world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, but with her first major title now in the bag, the sky is seemingly the limit for the new star of American women’s tennis.
Gauff’s qualities have been noted by Mouratoglou, who knows all about winning after working with all-time great Serena Williams for a decade.
The French coach said, as per Tennis Letter: “I think she [Gauff] is a star. To fully be a star she needed to be a Grand Slam champion, now she is. I think she can win many more. And she is definitely so exciting to watch. She has so much charisma, energy, and positivity. I think she has everything to become a big star and bring people to come and watch WTA.
“I’m very happy that Naomi Osaka is coming back next year. I think she’s also great for tennis and the rivalry between the two can be exciting.”
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Former world No. 1 Osaka won two Grand Slams before twice taking a hiatus from the sport including on one occasion for mental health reasons.
She withdrew from the Australian Open in January after it emerged that she was expecting her first child with rapper Cordae.
However, the Japanese 25-year-old is expected to return to the court early next year, whetting the appetite of tennis fans who are as excited as Mouratoglou is by the prospect of a Gauff versus Osaka rivalry developing over the next few seasons.
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