Coco Gauff Opens Up About Feeling Stress to Win at 15: “I Simply Put So A lot on Myself”

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 16: Coco Gauff of the United States celebrates in her match against Xinyu Wang of China during day four of the bett1open 2022 Berlin, Part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at LTTC Rot-Weiß e.V. on June 16, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

When Coco Gauff beat the oldest Williams sister at Wimbledon nearly three years ago, she grew to become greater than only a tennis star — she grew to become a family title. Although she later lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round of the event, at solely 15 years outdated, headlines have been proclaiming her a “tour professional” and “tennis phenom.”

When she later entered matches in opposition to athletes like Naomi Osaka within the 2019 US open and Sofia Kenin within the 2020 Australian Open, nonetheless, she felt like she “needed to win.” And that immense strain took a toll on her psychological well being, she says.

In an interview with Telegraph, Gauff opened up about this strain to be the very best: “It wasn’t that I believed I may win the event, it is that I anticipated to. Now I look again at it, I might say there was no probability that woman would beat [Naomi Osaka], however in my head, on the time, it felt like I needed to win. At 15, I simply put a lot on myself.”

In truth, she described herself as having “foremost character syndrome” — a viral TikTok term used for individuals who prioritize their wants and desires as in the event that they’re the protagonists of their very own film, whereas typically being extraordinarily out of contact with the actual world. “I feel I obtained too caught up in tennis, tennis, tennis,” Gauff informed Telegraph.

Now 18 years outdated, she mirrored on discovering fame, success, and wins at a mere 15. “I feel I’ve learnt lots during the last three years. That second – beating Venus at Wimbledon – made me consider that my goals have been nearer to actuality than it felt. It was positively lots to cope with. The largest factor I’ve learnt is you do not have to care about what different individuals count on from you. Simply benefit from the second. I wasn’t having fun with the second then.”

As for a way she’s come to a spot of “having fun with the second,” Osaka credit her newfound mentality to a easy observe: strolling. Particularly, when she was in Paris in the course of the French Open, she stated, “I might go on walks within the morning, individuals watch. You’re taking a step again from life and your personal head. Seeing the geese within the lake, that little second … I do not know the right way to put it into phrases with out sounding loopy, however it made me really feel there’s extra to life than tennis and that took an enormous weight off my shoulders. And I positively performed like that in Paris.”

Now, she sees the worth in fan and household help — whatever the end result of a match or event. “Individuals come as much as me and say they help me no matter whether or not I win or lose, and it virtually brings me to tears,” she says. “As a result of after I was youthful, even 15 or 16, I might assume that individuals would solely like me if I gained.”

With Wimbledon starting subsequent Monday, all eyes are on Gauff. And although she says she feels extra nervous than for different tournaments, enjoying at Wimbledon makes her “really feel just like the Queen.”



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