'Coco Brings Another Audience Who Aren't Tennis Fans': Gauff Could Form 'Needed Rivalry'

'Coco Brings Another Audience Who Aren't Tennis Fans': Gauff Could Form 'Needed Rivalry'

by Sebastian Dahlman

According to former player Greg Rusedski, Coco Gauff is a crowd magnet, as we recently saw the 2023 US Open.

You could make an argument that the New York crowd was more interested in the women's US Open final than the men's one. Having an American play in the final contributed to that but it's actually more to do with the Coco Gauff effect.

Many were stunned by the level she was able to produce at the US Open, confidently cruising to a maiden Grand Slam trophy. It was the crowning moment that fans were waiting for because it was always going to happen.

A new superstar is born, but former player Greg Rusedski wants to see somebody challenge her. Speaking on the Inside-In podcast, Rusedski noted the need for a proper rivalry on the WTA Tour, which would benefit women's tennis as much as men's tennis benefitted from the Big Three rivalries.

I think what we need is, we need a rivalry in the women's game especially. Because in the men's game, you've got Carlos, the young buck, vs Novak Djokovic, the legend of our sport. You know, you need a Coco-Swiatek, you need a Coco-Sabalenka. You need a group that's playing in Majors finals or semis week in and week out.

Considering how the respective careers of these players are trending, it's very likely that we will get those rivalries in the upcoming months/years. Rivalries drive a sport forward, and having one with a crowd magnet like Gauff could do wonders for women's tennis.

I look back and part of why I loved tennis growing up as a kid was John McEnroe-Bjorn Borg finals, Martina [Navratilova] and Chrissie [Evert], the longest and the greatest rivalry in tennis, playing over 80 times, that's what people want to see and also, Coco brings another audience to the sport who aren't tennis fans and that is a big plus.


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