'That Feeling Was A Drug': Why Gauff Is Hungrier To Win More Grand Slams

'That Feeling Was A Drug': Why Gauff Is Hungrier To Win More Grand Slams

by Nurein Ahmed

Winning a Grand Slam tournament is a career-altering achievement, and Coco Gauff can attest to this when she recently talked about the feeling of winning her first major.

Gauff defeated Aryna Sabalenka in three sets to win the 2023 US Open final. After years of carrying the baggage of expectations while in her teenage years, Gauff enjoyed a full circle moment in New York in front of a cheerful home crown and close family members.

That success catapulted Gauff's presence among the elite names in tennis. She was the youngest champion at the US Open in more than two decades, emulating the legendary Serena Williams, her childhood idol.

Gauff graced the cover of Vogue for its April edition, where she discussed a range of topics related to her tennis career, including her decision to hire celebrated American coach Brad Gilbert last summer and the comparisons to the Williams sisters.

When she defeated Karolina Muchova to reach the championship match last September, the pressure was so enormous that Gauff did not allow the moment to slip away from her grasp and be known as the woman who stumbled at the final hurdle.

"I didn’t want the moment to get away from me. I didn’t want to be one of those stories: ‘She was so close to winning the Grand Slam and she choked.’ If you look at my face, I’m just stoic. There was all this built-up emotion. I’m almost there. I’m almost there. I’m almost there. And then finally I was there. I did it. And I just fell on the floor."

The 19-year-old also detailed her goals for the new season. Fascinatingly, Gauff metaphorically related how addictive it is to win a Grand Slam tournament, which made her even hungrier to taste that feeling of success for a second time.

"That was a feeling I’ll never be able to replicate, no matter how many more matches I win. I want to win more so I can get as close to the feeling. I told my mom—I literally said, ‘It was an addictive feeling.’ As soon as I felt that, I wanted to refeel it again. I said, ‘Now I see how people get addicted to drugs.’ That feeling was a drug. For the rest of my life, the rest of my career, I’m going to be chasing that high."


You may also like