Gauff counts on talent, not fate or destiny, for success

By AFP
Published: July 6, 2019
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Gauff -- who jumped in the air in delight while her parents saluted her from the players box her mother chest pumping -- next plays former world number one Simona Halep. PHOTO: AFP

Gauff -- who jumped in the air in delight while her parents saluted her from the players box her mother chest pumping -- next plays former world number one Simona Halep. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Teen sensation Coco Gauff does not believe either fate or destiny will play a role if she is to go on and win Wimbledon and it will be solely down to her own talent.

The 15-year-old may not have produced her most assured performance on Friday but she showed real mettle in staying in the match and saving two match points before beating Slovenian Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-5 in just under three hours.

Gauff — who jumped in the air in delight while her parents saluted her from the players box her mother chest pumping — next plays former world number one Simona Halep.

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But win or lose on Monday it will be down to her and not outside forces.

“I don’t really believe in fate and destiny,” she said.

“I feel like you can kind of change your own world.

“Like sometimes fate can always not be a good thing.

“Sometimes fate can be a bad thing. I try not to think of it as my destiny or whatever.”

Gauff, who at 15 was the youngest player to qualify for the women’s singles, said there could be negative results if she felt it was her destiny to win the title.

“I feel like if I do think about it like that, then my head’s going to get big,” she said.

“I’m always hearing. You’re going to do this one day, do that one day.

“If I kind of relax now, then that won’t happen. I try not to think of it like that.”

Gauff, who started proceedings at the press conference by advising people to stream US rapper Jaden Smith’s newly-released album, said that the tough defeats she has had along the way since she took up a racquet aged eight have been a learning curve.

“I feel like you kind of have to experience the down moments to be able to experience the high,” she said.

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“But I don’t think this is just a one-time thing. I mean, I won three matches now, so I think I kind of proved my own.

“This moment is an incredible moment.

“I’m still excited I get to keep living it.

“I think just losing the tough, tough matches definitely prepared me for today.”

Gauff, who still has a way to go to emulate the then 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati in 1991 reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, said her parents — her father Corey who coached her in her early years and her mother Candi — were keeping her focussed.

“She definitely changed my mindset in how I look on things,” sad Gauff.

“My dad, he’s the reason why I dream so big.

“I think the kind of believing part of my dad and the more stay focused, stay calm of my mom is like a good mix.

“They definitely work together well to tell me the right things.”

Gauff said the most surprising but exciting thing that had happened in reaction to her run at Wimbledon was from pop megastar Beyonce’s mother.

“Miss Tina Knowles, Beyonce’s mom, posted me on Instagram,” she said.

“I was, like, screaming. I don’t know, like I hope Beyonce saw that.

“I hope she told her daughter about me because I would love to go to a concert.”

This in fact is one bone of contention between her and her parents.

“A funny story, though,” she added.

“Actually my parents told me to baby-sit my brothers.

“They didn’t tell me where they were going.

“Then I see on Facebook that they’re at the Beyonce and Jay-Z concert.

“I was so mad. I told them I wanted to go. They’re like, We’ll be back in a couple hours.

“Then I see on Facebook they’re in Miami at Beyonce and Jay-Z.”

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