Maria Sakkari reveals Coco Gauff's perspective about "real issues" in the world helped her overcome what she was dealing with following her US Open exit. After suffering a shock US Open first-round loss to Rebeka Masarova, Sakkari burst into tears and admitted she was struggling and hinted she could take a break from tennis.
A couple of days later, Gauff - who ended up winning the US Open - was asked if and how big of pressure she was feeling at the US Open. Answering the question, Gauff suggested that "tennis pressure isn't real" and added that "not knowing where your next meal is going to come from or how you are going to pay your bills is real pressure and hardship." Sakkari decided against taking a break from tennis and this past week in Guadalajara she lifted her first WTA 1000 title.
But most importantly for Sakkari, she looked happier and more relaxed throughout the week in Guadalajara.
Sakkari on how Gauff's perspective helped her
"I only had one goal this week: just to be happy. If you watched a couple of my matches, you saw me smiling more than usual on the court.
That was my goal. I was just very happy that I could do it because that was the key for me to get myself back and feel good on the court and feel happy and appreciate what I do. I really liked what Coco [Gauff] said at the US Open, about how other people have bigger problems than we have when we lose a tennis match, and she's spot on.
I kept thinking about that, and that gave me strength. At the end of the day, it's just a tennis match. I'm healthy, and that's the most important thing. Everyone around me, my family, are happy and healthy. Those are the things that I took some time to think about, to remember what's important in life.
Everyone focuses on their own problems, whether they are big, small, important, or not important. You forget what's going on in the rest of the world," Sakkari told WTA Insider.