Gauff Reveals How She Felt 'Suffocated By Expectations' At Wimbledon And How She Changed It

Gauff Reveals How She Felt 'Suffocated By Expectations' At Wimbledon And How She Changed It

by Zachary Wimer

Coco Gauff has had an interesting journey so far at Wimbledon, and she discussed it in a recent interview.

Gauff's journey at Wimbledon began in 2019 when she was 15 years old. The American made her debut at the event after successfully completing the qualifying. She played really well in the qualifying, and her first match in the main draw was against tennis legend Venus Williams.

That experience felt really good for the teenager at the moment because she went on to beat Venus Williams in that match and then win a couple more matches.

The end of the road happened in the fourth round when she lost to Simona Halep, who actually went on to win the event that year by beating Serena Williams in the final.

In fact, Gauff won more games (6) against the Romanian than Williams won against Halep in the final (4). What didn't feel good for Gauff was the expectations that came with that run.

Many expected a lot from her in the coming years, and she didn't quite live up to them. Only last year, when she lost to Sofia Kenin in the opening round, the pressure went away.

"After that first Wimbledon I felt a lot of pressure. I felt almost suffocated by expectations, like I wasn't playing for myself. It changed after losing here first round last year."

"I realised this mentality wasn't sustainable. I felt if I continued like this it would make tennis unenjoyable. I realised I had to worry about myself and not the other expectations people have for me."

The American explained that she tried to returning to the mentality of her 15-year-old self, which was the one that led her to the initial success at SW19.

"I went back to the mentality I had when I was 15 — there was only one match I was nervous for and that was to play Venus and that was because it was Venus, not because it was Wimbledon. But second round, third, fourth I was never nervous and I feel like that now."


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