Beating former World number one Venus Williams at 15 in Wimbledon also has a price to pay. Coco Gauff, who after that sensational victory on 1 July 2019 quickly climbed the world rankings of women's tennis up to the top 50, the first 15-year-old to succeed, revealed she suffered from depression.
“I’ve always wondered how better or worse my life would be without tennis. With what this sport has given me I cannot imagine my life would be better without,” she wrote. “At times I found myself too busy comparing myself to others.
Most of my friends go to normal high school. I felt like they always seemed so happy being ‘normal’. For a while I thought I wanted that but then I realized that just like social media everyone isn’t as happy as what you see in their posts.
It took me about a year to get over that idea. Again, my results were still okay, so this didn’t have much to do with tennis. I just wasn’t happy playing anyway. My parents did a great job of trying to make sure I did ‘normal’ childhood things”.
“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want. It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Once I let that all go, that when I started to have the results I wanted.
Right before Wimbledon, going back to around 2017/18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results so that wasn’t the issue, I just found myself not enjoying what I loved" - Coco added.