Gauff Hits Out At 'Disrespectful' Claims She Had 'Cakewalk' Draw After Wimbledon Exit

Gauff Hits Out At 'Disrespectful' Claims She Had 'Cakewalk' Draw After Wimbledon Exit

by Zachary Wimer

Coco Gauff took offense after being told that she had a 'cakewalk' draw at this year's Wimbledon, branding those claims as disrespectful.

When Dominic Thiem won the US Open a few years ago, many claimed that it wasn't that impressive as the event didn't feature Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic was disqualified. The Austrian accepted that opinion but dismissed claims that it devalued his Grand Slam achievement.

Djokovic himself has won a couple of Grand Slams in recent years, with neither Nadal nor Federer playing at the event. Does it devalue them? Not really, as he's proven himself even with the two legends around.

Certain achievements can't be devalued, even if something else is factually true. Gauff didn't have the toughest draw at this year's Wimbledon. Still, she's no fan of her draw being called a 'cakewalk' because it's disrespectful to players who come from the lower ranks on the WTA Tour, such as Emma Raducanu did a few years ago when she won the US Open as a qualifier.

"I’ve seen and played so many Slams where anybody can win. The seed is just a number, just an advantage so you don’t play another seed first round. That doesn’t mean you can’t lose, as we’ve seen a lot of seeds drop out. We’ve seen defending champions drop out. It means nothing."

"Especially on my side of the draw, even though the players may not be as known, but they’re so talented. I think that’s something that people, fans of the game, are a little bit disrespectful when it comes to other players on tour."

There's another player, Jasmine Paolini, who recently made the Roland Garros final. She gradually improved and became better, and her run is just a reflection of that, regardless of how difficult or not her draw was, and that's why Gauff thinks that branding draws as "cakewalks" is disrespectful to her rivals.

"Maybe their ranking isn’t there, but the level is there. They’re here for a reason. They deserve their spot. There’s no easy draw. There’s no cakewalk or anything. This is a competitive sport and we all want to win. I’ve been there where I was ranked whatever, an unknown."

"It would be disrespectful for another player to be like, This girl is ranked whatever, and she’s this age, I should be able to win. That’s not the case. I don’t take my seed into account when it comes to anything. I take every match with a very competitive mindset regardless of the ranking or the person I’m playing against."


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