Opening up about her battle with depression as a 14-year-old, American tennis sensation Coco Gauff revealed that she had stopped enjoying the game of tennis during that time.
“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,” Gauff told the ‘Behind the Racquet’ website as quoted by PTI via AFP.
Last year, Gauff became the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon by achieving the feat in just 15 years which added another feather to her limelight. However, the American teenager never likes such hypes and feels that it is the burden of expectations that has always kept her under pressure.
“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want,” she said.
“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,” she added.
Gauff, who is ranked 52, is touted as a long-term successor to Serena Williams at the top of US women’s tennis. However, the teenager has made it clear that Williams sisters are her idols and that she doesn’t like being compared to Serena or her sister Venus.
“I am not at their level yet. I always feel like it’s not fair to the Williams sisters to be compared to someone who is just coming up,” said Gauff.
“I still look at them as my idols. Of course I hope to get to where they are but they are the two women that set the pathway for myself, which is why I can never be them,” she added.