Cori Gauff pays ultimate respect to retiring Serena Williams

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Cori Gauff pays ultimate respect to retiring Serena Williams

Cori Gauff, 18, feels Serena Williams is definitely the one that should be considered as the greatest tennis player of all time and admitted the 23-time Grand Slam champion inspired her to pursue a professional tennis career.

On Tuesday, Williams announced in a piece for Vogue that she's retiring from tennis after the US Open. Williams, 40, won her first Grand Slam title even before Gauff was born. When Gauff first started watching tennis, Williams was one of the reasons that made her fell in love with the game.

"I grew up watching her. I mean that's the reason why I play tennis. Tennis being a predominantly white sport, it definitely helped a lot. Because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game. It made me believe that I could dominate too," Gauff said, per WTA insider.

Gauff picks Williams as the GOAT

Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam champion, the second all-time in the women's game.

But Williams never wanted to be recognized as just a great tennis player and Gauff admits she is inspired by the 40-year-old's activism. Gauff, who is considered as someone who has the potential to win multiple Grand Slam, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Williams and be a leader.

“What makes her the GOAT is her personality, all she’s done off the court, to fight for equality, to fight for young players like me and continue to lead in the way that she does lead," Gauff said, per Lukas Weese.

Also, Gauff underlined that Williams has left a major in tennis history. “The legacy she’s left throughout her tennis career is something that I don’t think any other player can probably touch," Gauff added.

Gauff has never played Williams on the WTA Tour. It remains to be seen if Gauff gets a chance to play Williams in one of the American's final three tournaments.