Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci believes "the doors are open for Cori Gauff" to make major things as he believes the 18-year-old will win a Grand Slam and reach the world No 1 ranking this year. Last year, Williams and Ashleigh Barty retired from tennis.
This year, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is missing the entire season due to pregnancy. Iga Swiatek is ranked at No 1 and considered the best player in the game but Macci feels the Pole is again beatable. "The door is open for @CocoGauff.
Barty retired, Serena exited stage, left, Osaka is away this year, Iga has come back down to earth. 2023 Coco wins a slam and will be number 1 by the end of the year. Olympic sprinter on a mission and a burning desire," Macci wrote on Twitter.
The door is open for @CocoGauff . Barty retired,Serena exited stage,left, Osaka is away this year,Iga has come back down to earth.2023 Coco wins a slam and will be number 1 by the end of the year. Olympic sprinter on a mission and a burning desire.ð¥ — Rick Macci (@RickMacci) January 20, 2023
Gauff has been tipped to win a Grand Slam
Gauff has had a great start to the 2023 season as she won Auckland before winning all of her first three Australian Open matches in straight sets.
Jessica Pegula, who is currently the top-ranked American female tennis player, believes Gauff is definitely a legitimate Grand Slam title contender and a threat to any opponent. "I think she's always a contender in a Slam.
That's just my personal opinion. I don't think any top player wants to see her early in a tournament, or any player in general wants to see her early in a tournament," Pegula said of Gauff. Meanwhile, Gauff has been getting her respect at the Australian Open.
In her first three Australian Open matches, Gauff was all three times scheduled for Rod Laver Arena. "Honestly, truly shocked I've been on Laver like all my matches. I don't know, maybe because Rafa is out they need somebody else.
I feel weird saying that. I do thrive on the big courts and I love it. I don't take it for granted because I don't know if it will keep happening, but I'm going to enjoy the moment while it lasts," Gauff said.