16-year-old tennis star Coco Gauff has revealed how she has been battling with depression caused by the pressure of her recently acquired rise to fame.
The rising tennis star made waves on the tennis circuit when she went onto defeat Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019.
Earlier at the 2020 Australian Open, Coco Gauff continued making her mark by not only beating Williams for the second time but also defeating defending champion Naomi Osaka in the 3rd round of the Australian Open before being eliminated by Sofia Kenin in Round 4.
The 16-year-old tennis star has already been dubbed as a successor to tennis superstar Serena Williams.
However, as with most young stars her age, the rise to fame also comes at a personal cost. She recently revealed to Behind the Racquet that she has been battling with depression which almost led to her taking a year off tennis.
She went on to say:
“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want,”
“It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Right before Wimbledon, going back to around 2017/18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results, so that wasn’t the issue. I just found myself not enjoying what I loved.”
“I realised I needed to start playing for myself and not other people. For about a year, I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far.”
She then went on to add:
“Choosing not to obviously was the right choice, but I was close to not going in that direction. I was just lost,”
. “I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted or what others did.”
“It took many moments sitting, thinking and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever.”
The recent suspension of tennis competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will hopefully offer the young talent a much-needed break from the pressures of fame and alow her to get her mindset back on track.
We look forward to seeing what lies ahead for the 16-year-old as she continues to take the tennis world by storm and continues on her road to becoming a next-generation tennis superstar.