When 15-year-old Coco Gauff put out Serena Williams in the first round of Wimbledon this year, the sports media stood still. It was a major shock; a teenager defeating arguably the greatest player of her generation. While a straight-sets defeat to Romanian legend Simona Halep was soon to follow, the praise was still coming in from all angles – not least from Halep herself.
When asked about her victory over the 15-year-old, Halep said: “I think it was a great match. She has potential to be a very good player soon,
“12 years ago I was at juniors. It’s a huge thing that she’s able to play in the fourth round of Wimbledon. It’s a great performance. I think if she keeps going, she will be Top 10 soon.”
She even offered some excellent analysis of how Gauff played, saying: “I think she has a very strong backhand. Also, the serve is pretty tough. She’s moving very well. She’s tall, so is not easy to move that fast,
“She will be a very tough opponent for everybody. If she keeps doing what she did here, she’s going to get a lot of confidence and she can win big tournaments soon.
“I think it’s a good thing, a positive thing, for the tennis because the juniors can see that everything is possible. They can get motivated. They get confident there is a chance for everybody. What she’s doing, she’s doing great.”
Great words from one of the best players in the sport by far. For Gauff, the gushing praise from the likes of Halep should only give her further confirmation that a great future in the sport awaits.