Teenage sensation Coco Gauff has revealed that Serena Williams is her “dream opponent” and hopes to play against the tennis icon before she retires.
Just four ranking places seperate the two players, with Gauff in 24th and Williams four above in 20th spot.
Williams, who is a 23-time major winner, is still searching for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, though she has struggled for form in 2021. Despite reaching the semi-final of the Australian Open this year, the 39-year-old has not won a tournament since then and suffered a first-round defeat at Wimbledon recently.
Meanwhile, Gauff has continued her rapid rise up the rankings this season. Having won her second WTA title at the Parma Open, the American reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and the fourth round at the All England Club.
With a 22-year age gap between the players, Gauff grew up watching Williams and recently admitted her adoration for the former world number one.
Speaking on the Match Point Canada, the 17-year-old stressed that Williams is the one player she’d love to play.
“Definitely Serena Williams. You know, she’s been on my bucket list forever to play and she’s obviously one of my idols. I got to play Venus twice so Serena, just one time before she heads out. But yeah, that would be a dream match. Especially at a Grand Slam, that would be pretty cool.”
Gauff also stated who her preferred mixed doubles partner would be. The US prodigy gave two names –– one being Roger Federer and the other Nick Kyrgios.
“People don't know this, but Nick [Kyrgios] and Roger [Federer] are literally my dream mixed doubles partners.”
The teenager had previously said in an interview with the ATP that Kyrgios was a “super funny guy and off the court super kind.”
Subsequently, Kyrgios saw a video of these comments and took to Twitter to respond to Gauff’s kind words. “@CocoGauff mixed at Aussie Open?”, he wrote.
The world number 24 was quick to reply, exclaiming “Let’s make it happen.”
Asked about being caught off guard by the Australian’s offer, Gauff responded: “I didn’t think he’d ask that to be honest but him and Roger have been the people that I’ve always wanted to play mixed doubles with and, you know, Roger was kind of like I already knew that wasn’t going to happen so Nick is definitely close up there on the bucket list.
“I’m hoping that it can happen and hopefully there’ll be a crowd there too because that’s really what I’m excited about, playing with Nick Kyrgios in Australia for the huge crowd.”
Whether next year’s Australian Open will have capacity crowds remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Gauff’s focus will be on the US Open, which gets underway at the end of this month.News Now - Sport News