Cori Gauff, 18, says she has matured a lot over the last three years and she is now setting much more realistic expectations on her.
At 2019 Wimbledon, a 15-year-old Gauff beat seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams 6-4 6-4 in the first round at The Championships.
Gauff went on to reach the Wimbledon last-16 that year, before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.
Now, Gauff tells The Telegraph she expected to win the US Open – but her 2019 campaign at Flushing Meadowns ended with a third round defeat to Naomi Osaka.
Reflecting on that, Gauff said it was absolutely uneccessary to put so much pressure on herself.
“I think I’ve learnt a lot over the last three years,” Gauff told The Telegraph. “That moment – beating Venus at Wimbledon – made me believe that my dreams were closer to reality than it felt. It was definitely a lot to deal with. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is you don’t have to care about what other people expect from you. Just enjoy the moment. I wasn’t enjoying the moment then.”
Gauff insipired by Iga Swiatek, Emma Raducanu
Gauff recently lost her maiden Grand Slam final as 21-year-old Swiatek beat the American to lift her second Grand Slam title.
Raducanu, 19, is also a Grand Slam champion, having won the US Open as a qualifier last year.
“It’s definitely a transition happening,” Gauff noted. “It’s pretty cool. Emma and Iga I didn’t know as well during juniors, but we always played some of the same tournaments though and played ITFs at the same time. To see everyone you’ve known for a long time doing well, it’s cool. I always root for Iga, Emma or Leylah [Fernandez] when I’m not playing them.”
Gauff fell just short of winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open but now she has set her eyes on Wimbledon.
Gauff can definitely play well on grass and many believe she could be a threat at The Championships this year.