American teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff reveals that she was suffering from depression for a year, before her Wimbledon breakout. The 16-year-old contemplated stepping away from the game for a year as her rapid rise and the hype of being Serena Williams' successor led to her being depressed. Coco Gauff is the youngest player to be in the WTA's Top 100 rankings and is ranked at 52.
In a post written by Coco Gauff on Behind The Racquet, the 16-year-old reveals that her rapid rise and constant comparisons to Serena Williams meant there was always an added pressure to do well and do well fast. She wrote that it was difficult for her to look on the bright side, and while she wanted to play tennis, she didn’t know how to go about it. Coco Gauf reveals that while she got the results she wanted, she was not enjoying playing tennis. The youngster reveals that she took many moments 'sitting, thinking and crying' and felt friendless. Coco Gauff adds that she was able to overcome depression because she realised she needs to play for herself and not others.
Coco Gauff writes that she thought of taking a year off to focus on life before choosing not to, which was the 'right decision.' Gauff admits that she was overthinking and she came back from depression stronger and knowing herself better. She admits that she now likes playing tennis for more than herself because she now has girls coming up to her and saying they're picking up the racquet because of her. Coco Gauff adds that she doesn't like being compared to Serena Williams or her sister Venus and looks up to them as idols. She writes that she is not at their level and it is unfair on them considering the accolades they have lifted over the course of their respective careers.