Coco Gauff Bounces Back
With thoughts from Brad Gilbert on joining her coaching team
It is certainly good to be Coco Gauff: 19 years old with a top 10 world ranking in singles and in doubles; with a sweet nature, inquiring mind and winning personality; with millions in the bank (or wherever Gen Z stashes its money) and millions more on the way.
“First and foremost, Coco is a great kid,” Brad Gilbert, the newest member of her coaching team, told me on Sunday night after her romp to the title at the Mubadala Citi DC Open.
But it is also challenging to be Coco Gauff: with the daily weight of big expectations, including her own; with a forehand that everybody on tour, including Gauff, knows can crack under pressure; with a family that has adjusted and sacrificed to further her career while trying to raise and nurture her two younger brothers.
She is a prodigy in a sport that runs on prodigies and sometimes chews them up. She is still a teenager until March next year, but younger talents already are arriving in the top 100 like 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva, whom Gauff beat at the French Open, and the 18-year-old Czechs Linda Noskova and Linda Fruhvirtova.