Coco Gauff: A product of the 'Serena Williams Effect'

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It's no secret that Gauff was inspired by the success of the Williams sisters, with her family even emulating the coaching techniques of their father Richard. Gauff's mother and father even left their jobs to focus on Coco full-time, fulfilling the roles of coach and homeschool teacher.

As such, there was early success for Guaff, as she became the youngest US Open girls' singles finalist at just 13 years old in 2017.

"I grew up watching her," Gauff said of Serena a few weeks ago in Toronto, as per "I mean that's the reason why I play tennis. Tennis being a predominantly white sport it definitely helped a lot. Because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game. It made me believe that I could dominate, too. "I think her whole story, the Williams sisters story, not just Serena, with Mr. Williams and all that he's done for both of them inspired my dad to continue to coach me and help me. Even though he had not really much tennis experience. But he was like, 'If Mr. Williams can do it, then I can.'

"I think it's not so much just what Serena and Venus have left, it's also the whole Williams family in general."

Now, 40-year-old Williams is gearing up for what is touted to be her tennis swansong at the US Open, where she has won six times. Post-pandemic, the GOAT has not had the kind of results tennis fans have become accustomed to. But despite her last title coming in January 2020, Williams still exudes fight and character on the court. For 18-year-old Guaff, this is truly inspiring. "She is just so competitive on the court... I have never seen her give up," continued Gauff. "Even now, when she is coming back from having a child, it is amazing to see that she is still strong. I like her serve, her forehand, her aggressiveness. She has proven that she relies on that and it is allowing her to win.

"I want to exactly copy that."

Guaff, currently ranked 12th in the WTA rankings, featured in her first grand slam final at the French Open in June, losing out to the indomitable Iga Swiatek.

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