US tennis player Coco Gauff, 16, opens up on depression battle

by Ajit Singh Khanna | Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 | 0
Cori Gauff: the support network behind 15-year-old who beat Venus ...

Rising American tennis player Coro Gauff has opened up on her battle with depression.

In a post for Behind The Racquet, Gauff revealed the sudden rise to fame made her struggle mentally, which eventually led to her not enjoying what she loved doing the most.

Gauff’s meteoric rise started after she stormed into the pre-quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2019, in what was her first ever Grand Slam appearance. On her way, she upset her idol, the legendary Venus Williams, before going down to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Later that year, she made it to the third round of the US Open. After wins over Anastasia Potapova and Timea Babos, she went down to two-time Major winner and former world number one Naomi Osaka in straight sets. 

Gauff made the pre-quarterfinals of a Slam for the second time after stunning the likes of Osaka and Venus before being defeated by another world number one in Karolina Pliskova. 

“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want,” wrote Gauff, who turned 16 earlier this year.

“It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Right before Wimbledon, going back to around 2017/18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results so that wasn’t the issue, I just found myself not enjoying what I loved.

“I realised I needed to start playing for myself and not other people. For about a year I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far.

“Choosing not to obviously was the right choice but I was close to not going in that direction. I was just lost. I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted or what others did.

“It took many moments sitting, thinking and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever.”

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