Cori Gauff, 19, supports 21-year-old Amanda Anisimova's decision to take a break from tennis as the 19-year-old highlighted that the most important thing for the 21-year-old is to be feeling happy and healthy. In early May, former world No 21 Anisimova announced she was taking an indefinite break from tennis to address her mental health.
In 2017, Gauff and Anisimova met in the US Open girls' singles final and Anisimova claimed a dominant 6-0 6-2 win. Gauff and Anisimova were labeled as the next big thing in American tennis and Gauff suggests all the pressure might have played a role in Anisimova falling to a dark spot and needing a break from tennis.
Also, in 2019 - when Anisimova was just starting on the pro level - her father suddenly died in his sleep.
Gauff on Anisimova taking a mental health break
"Yeah, I would say when she announced the initial break, I was surprised.
I don't think anybody was expecting it or anything. But I can understand really. There is probably a lot of players who need to take a break who don't take a break. Not putting this for myself, maybe one day I'll need to take a break, I don't know.
I definitely can understand when tennis has been so much a part of your life. She's been good also, a great player in juniors, obviously in pros doing well. I think it's a much different pressure when you're good I guess throughout pretty much when you hold the racquet.
Amanda always has been one to watch, at least since I was a little girl, since she was. She was always considered to be the next thing. I can really understand the pressure that she's probably felt. She had a lot to deal with with the loss of her dad.
I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure he started her in tennis. I was really surprised personally how she was able to be able to continue to play. She ended up beating me at Wimbledon I think a year or two after. I was really amazed how she was able to overcome all of that.
I completely understand. I think that's a thing that people forget, that she's human, athletes are human. Everybody needs a break from everything. Maybe college has always been one of her aspirations, I don't know. I think as long as she's happy and healthy, I think everybody should support her decision," Gauff said.