Teen tennis sensation Coco Gauff is currently riding a hot streak that has everyone talking. As the first Grand Slam event of the year gets underway, the tennis community converges in Melbourne, Australia.
It’s possible to overlook that Gauff is only 18 years old. For the past three and a half years, she has consistently advanced to the finals of Grand Slam tournaments, where she has already triumphed once. She is now in the top 10 Women’s Tennis Association singles and doubles rankings.
She beat Kateina Siniaková in the first round with a powerful 6-1, 6-4 victory to build on her significant success at a warm-up tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. Then, with a newsworthy 6-3, 7-6 triumph over 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu, she earned her 100th WTA tour victory.
At the Australian Open on Wednesday, the first time these two young tennis stars faced each other, Gauff was proud of how she handled herself when she was twice a point away from being pushed to a third set by Emma Raducanu.
Raducanu, who had just recovered from an ankle injury sustained in Auckland, could not handle Gauff’s power play. Raducanu may have won a Grand Slam, but Gauff is unquestionably a superior athlete. While the 20-year-old British player is still getting used to life at the highest level of the WTA tour, Gauff is reaching the height of her powers, according to The Root.
The anticipation for this highly anticipated match between two of the sport’s rising stars was intense, despite the disparity in their experience levels. During an on-court interview, Gauff described her strategy for the second-round matchup.
“At a Grand Slam, you have to win seven matches, and when you go into the tournament, you have to expect to play the best,” Gauff said. “Obviously, you hope it’s not in the second round, but what can you do? I feel like we handled the pressure pretty well, and kudos to Emma—I know she had a tough week in Auckland — so really good for her to be able to play this level after such a scary moment,” she added.
In the third round, Coco will compete against American Bernarda Pera. She’s also in the doubles competition, where she’s paired with Jessica Pegula, who has been doing amazingly well so far. They might face each other in the semifinals if they keep up their current pace.
Before facing Emma Raducanu, Coco Gauff started boxing and trained with legendary Mike Tyson. She revealed that she sparred with Tyson in preparation for this match, which did her well.
“To help me follow in Emma’s footsteps and win a Slam, I added a new activity into my preseason training — boxing,” Gauff wrote in her column for BBC Sport. “My fitness trainer wanted me to box to help improve balance, and so I went down to a gym near where I live in Florida.”