Coco Gauff made her way to Europe pretty early in her life, becoming part of the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in the outskirts of Antibes.
Mouratoglou is a pretty prominent tennis figure these days but it wasn't always like that. Most fans only became familiar with him after he started coaching Serena Wiliams and it was a pretty good launching pod for him.
He capitalized greatly on his fame and turned his academy into a powerhouse that gave us several great players. Some of the players who went through his academy at some point in their tennis journey include Stefanos Tsitsipas. Coco Gauff, Holger Rune, Brenda and Linda Fruhvirtova.
When it comes to Gauff, she named him as the key reason why she started training in Europe at the age of 10. It came after she was asked about it following her most recent win at the Australian Open over Marta Kostyuk.
Patrick Mouratoglou. I mean, he was coaching Serena Williams at the time, and she was my idol. It wasn't really a decision -- like, I got invited over there when I was 10. It wasn't like I made the decision. It was just, you know, my parents, they got presented this great opportunity to go for a week and all expenses paid for.
Gauff is actually one of those early players whose career was funded by the Mouratoglou academy which she also talked out. She mentioned some other players that were with her at the time such as Holger Rune and the Fruhvirtova sisters.
I had never left the country. Yeah, then went to Paris for a week and we did this process called Champ'seed. It didn't feel, it was not an auditioning but I guess in a way, and he just picked the best of the best to kind of help fund our careers essentially. There's a couple other players that came out of that. Off the top of my head, Holger Rune was one of them and the Fruhvirtova sisters and others."