Women's Sport: Patrick Mouratoglou says Coco Gauff is "not far away" from Grand Slam

Patrick Mouratoglou believes it is only a matter of time before Coco Gauff achieves what every young tennis player dreams of, a Grand Slam.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mouratoglou said he believed his young protegee would be able to beat the very best when the WTA tour resumes once again.

“I can see Coco getting to a final and winning a grand slam,” he says, “and I feel she is not that far away.”

Gauff hit the big time in 2019 when, at 15-years-old, she beat tennis great Venus Williams in her first round at Wimbledon last summer. That game catapulted her to the forefront of the tennis world and to much amazement she continued her meteoric rise this year, beating Venus once again and Top Ten ranked Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open.

Gauff was eventually beaten in the fourth round in Melbourne by fellow American, 21-year-old Sophia Kenin. It is this match that Mouratoglou feels shows the progress Coco needs to make before she will be able to win big.

“The match against Sofia Kenin in Melbourne showed Coco needs to improve. Of course, she does.

“She still plays at an incredible level and the self-belief she has is so strong that she can surprise and maybe win a grand slam. The Australian Open is gone, but why not another one?”

Since last summer, Coco has risen over 630 places in the WTA rankings and even broke into the world’s top 50 this year, the first 15-year-old to do so in 15 years.

Gauff has been a mentee of Mouratoglou’s for about six years and has trained at the trainer’s academy in the south of France for several years.

As a result, Mouratoglou knows Gauff’s game better than most and has identified both the strengths and weaknesses of the young player’s game.

“[Coco] has a lot of things to her game; a big serve, unbelievable backhand, she does a lot of things. She can come to the net. When it is a pressure point, she is able to go for it.

“She will also play a return volley to put pressure on her opponents. But still, it is 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 unique. But she is still only 16 and, when you are only 16, you still have so many things you need to improve, which is great.”

Whilst the WTA Tour remains suspended whilst countries continue to battle the spread of coronavirus Coco will no doubt be working on her game. As time continues and she builds her strength and maturity, Coco Gauff is almost a dead cert to dominate the sport of tennis for years to come.

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