Cori Gauff admitted the success of Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez motivated her to work harder and have her own strong run at a Grand Slam tournament at a very young age. Raducanu was 18 when she defeated 19-year-old Fernandez in the 2021 US Open final to lift her first Grand Slam title.
Gauff, who turned 18 this past March, reached her first Grand Slam final at this past French Open. Unfortunately for Gauff, she fell short of winning her first Grand Slam title after losing to Iga Swiatek in the French Open final.
"I think it's exciting," Gauff said. "I think that for me, Leylah and Emma, I never played Emma in juniors, but I played with her. But we've been playing in juniors, so it's cool to see us doing so well so quickly. I think it's great.
I think it just makes you want to do better. I think watching Emma and Leylah do well at US Open made me want to do even better. I think iron sharpens iron."
Gauff inspired by fellow young stars
Swiatek, 21, is now widely considered as the best player in the game.
"With Iga, I also played juniors with her," Gauff added. "But with Iga she's dominating right now. So I think definitely it pushes us to do even more and get to that No. 1 spot. Because she's doing it at such a young age as well." Gauff maybe didn't win her first Grand Slam title at the French Open but she left the tournament with valuable lessons.
"I think I learned a lot, and I learned that losing is a part of the game. I learned that you can't win every tournament. I think from that final, it taught me that that was probably the most relaxed I've ever been in a tournament, where I wasn't focused on results.
It taught me not to focus on results because then I actually get the results. That mindset is something that I'm trying to stay in and continue to get better so that it's not just a final the next time."
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