'I was just lost': American tennis player Coco Gauff reveals struggle with depression due to mounting pressure

American tennis player Coco Gauff has revealed about her struggle with depression brought on by the mounting pressure and hype during her rapid rise to prominence in the sporting world.

FP Trending April 16, 2020 14:02:44 IST
'I was just lost': American tennis player Coco Gauff reveals struggle with depression due to mounting pressure

American tennis player Coco Gauff has revealed about her struggle with depression brought on by the mounting pressure and hype during her rapid rise to prominence in the sporting world.

The 16-year-old Florida-based player said she had rediscovered her love for the sport after becoming depressed.

In July last year, Gauff came to limelight when she reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in her first major championship appearance. She defeated former World No 1 Venus Williams along the way.


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Repost from @behindtheracquet • “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. Once I let that all go, I started to have the results I wanted. 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 realized 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. Even though I had, it felt like there weren’t many friends there for me. When you are in that dark mindset you don’t look on the bright side of things too often, which is the hardest part. I don’t think it had much to do with tennis, maybe just about juggling it all. I knew that I wanted to play tennis but didn’t know how I wanted to go about it. It went so far that I was thinking about possibly taking a year off to just focus on life. 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. Everyone asks me how I stay calm on court and I think it’s because I accepted who I am after overcoming low points in my life. Now, when I’m on court, I am just really thankful to be out there. Personally for me, I like playing for more than myself. One of the biggest things is to continue breaking barriers. At the same time I don’t like being compared to Serena or Venus. First, I am not at their level yet. I always feel like it’s not fair to the Williams sisters to be compared to someone who is just coming up. It just doesn’t feel right yet, I still look at them as my idols. With all their accolades I shouldn’t be put in the same group yet. Of course I hope to get to where they are but they are the two women that set the pathway for myself, which is why I can never be them.” @cocogauff Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended

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Penning down her darkest moments in a post for Behind the Racquet, Gauff wrote, “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,” she added.

Gauff said she had realised that she needed to start playing for herself and not for others. “For about a year I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far,” she wrote.

The tennis star said she felt there were not many friends for her. She knew she wanted to play tennis but was not sure how to go about it.

Gauff also said that she doesn’t like to be compared to Serena Williams or her sister Venus.

“First, I am not at their level yet. I always feel like it’s not fair to the Williams sisters to be compared to someone who is just coming up. It just doesn't feel right yet, I still look at them as my idols," she added.

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