Cori Gauff, 18, feels that Serena Williams is definitely the one to be considered the greatest tennis player of all time and admitted that the 23-time Grand Slam champion inspired her to pursue a professional tennis career.
On Tuesday, Williams announced in an article for Vogue that she is retiring from tennis after the US Open. The 40-year-old Williams won her first Grand Slam title even before Gauff was born. When Gauff started watching tennis, Williams was one of the reasons that made her fall in love with the game.
"I grew up watching it. I mean that's the reason I play tennis. The fact that tennis is a predominantly white sport definitely helped a lot. Because I saw someone who looked like me dominating the game. He made me believe that I could also dominate," Gauff said, according to WTA information.
Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam champion, second all-time in women's sport. But Williams never wanted to be recognized just as a great tennis player and Gauff admits she is inspired by the 40-year-old's activism. Gauff, who considers herself someone with the potential to win multiple Grand Slams, hopes to follow in Williams' footsteps and be a leader.
"What makes her the GOAT is her personality, everything she's done off the court, fighting for equality, fighting for young players like me and continuing to lead the way that she does," said Gauff, according to Luke Weese.
In addition, Gauff underlined that Williams has left a great mark on the history of tennis. "The legacy that she has left throughout her tennis career is something that I don't think any other player can touch," Gauff added.
Gauff has never faced Williams on the WTA Tour. It remains to be seen if Gauff has a chance to face Williams in one of the American's last three tournaments.
Wood joked about Serena Williams
Humorist and comic artist Roy Wood Jr.
became the latest to give his two cents on Serena Williams' decision to hang up the racket. During a stand-up act, Wood joked about Williams having made "92 white women cry" over the course of her long and illustrious career.
"And over the course of her career, Serena Williams made 92 white women cry, whooping their a**," Wood Jr. joked. "And tennis is messed up, Serena whooped your a** and you have got to stay out there on court with her while she collectes her trophy."