Patrick Mouratoglou: 'Cori Gauff is a Grand Slam material. She could win one soon'



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Patrick Mouratoglou: 'Cori Gauff is a Grand Slam material. She could win one soon'

The famous coach Patrick Mouratoglou has had many opportunities to work with Cori Gauff and reveal her full potential, with the young American heading to his Academy in France a couple of times. Serena Williams coach believes Cori is a Grand Slam material who should become a contender for the most notable titles soon, already reaching the fourth round twice at the age of 15.

Just over a year ago, the 14-year-old Gauff cracked the top-500 for the first time after reaching the first pro final. After that, the super talented American needed only 12 months to become the youngest player in the top-50 since 2005, embracing an incredible run during this period to enter the record books.

Cori has already shown her potential on the most significant tennis scene years before her coevals, taking big steps towards her ultimate quest of becoming the greatest player in history! Despite a reduced schedule, this incredible youngster who works in Florida has already won her first WTA title and reached the second week at Majors twice, battling against more experienced and better-ranked rivals with no sign of fear and with an incredible desire for constant improvement.

Making a debut in Melbourne this January at the age when her coevals play the junior event, Cori toppled Venus Williams and the defending champion Naomi Osaka to reach the last 16, taking the opening set against an eventual champion Sofia Kenin before falling down to end her campaign in the fourth round.

Cori has been one of the young guns to watch ever since the US Open 2017, reaching the final at the age of 13 and becoming Roland Garros champion at 14 next spring, securing the junior throne as one of the youngest players ever.

Targeting the place in the top-100 at the end of 2019, Cori left junior tennis behind after conquering the Orange Bowl in December 2018, focusing on the professional tournaments and making remarkable progress in passing some 600 rivals on the WTA list!

Gauff advanced into the first professional final last February, still at 14, scoring the first WTA win on the big scene in Miami and receiving a wild card for the qualifying draw at Wimbledon. Taking the opportunity with both hands, Cori crossed three obstacles to find herself in the main draw as the youngest qualifier ever at the All England Club, toppling a former champion Venus Williams in the first round and adding two more triumphs to her tally to become the youngest player in the fourth round at Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati almost 30 years ago!

Moving closer to her goal, Gauff won two encounters at the US Open and claimed the first WTA title in Luxembourg as the last-minute lucky loser, becoming the youngest WTA champion since 2004 and cracking the top-70 by the end of the season.

"I could see Coco getting to the final and winning a Grand Slam; she is not far away from that' said Mouratoglou to Metro. "The match against Sofia Kenin in Melbourne showed what she has to improve to get there.

She still plays at an incredible level and her self-belief is so strong that she can surprise and maybe win a Grand Slam. The Australian Open is gone, but she will have a shot at another Major; her game is already big. A big serve, unbelievable backhand, she does a lot of things on the court, with net rushings.

When it comes to the pressure point, she can go for it with a return volley to put pressure on her opponents, for example. Gauff already understands a lot of things in tennis but it is still not enough; there is still some space for her opponents to win the points.

Her maturity is incredible at 16; that's what stands out most for me. The ways she handles matches, it's already really unique, although she is still to improve many aspects of her game and get even better. Coco has beaten Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka at Majors and made the second week of a Slam twice at such a young age."