07 June 2020

Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou tells how he knew Coco Gauff was special when he first met her as a 10 year-old

Serena Williams’ long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou has described teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff as ‘more mature at 14 than women on the tour aged 25’.

His comments follow the now 16 year-old’s impassioned speech earlier this week on the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. 

Gauff said: “Black lives have always mattered. They mattered then, they matter now and they will matter in the future.”

Mouratoglou, who first met Gauff when she was ten and is now her mentor, believes she is 'different' to other players. 

He said: "When you meet people who are exceptional, you know it. I feel it straight away. Since that day, she’s been surprising me all the time, even though I know she’s so special.

"At 14 she was more mature than women on tour who are 25. That’s incredible. She has an inner strength that is completely unusual.

Mouratoglou first met Gauff when she was ten and is now her mentor (AAP/PA Images)

“She has a self-confidence that serves her in her tennis, but to be able to come and make a speech at 16 the way she did? You don’t see that. Again, she surprised me. I’m not surprised that I am surprised, but I’m surprised.”

Gauff rose to fame in the tennis world when she received a wild card in the qualifying draw for Wimbledon 2019. 

She became the youngest player in the tournament’s history to qualify for a main draw and went on to beat Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round, before getting knocked out in the fourth. 

Since then she has reached the third round of the 2019 US Open and the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year. 

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