Pam Shriver’s sage advice for ‘exceptional’ Coco Gauff as teen turns 19

Coco Gauff in action Credit: Alamy
Coco Gauff in action Credit: Alamy

Pam Shriver knows a thing or two about bursting onto the scene that results in higher than usual expectations so she is best placed to give Coco Gauff some advice.

Shriver announced her arrival on the big stage as a 16-year-old amateur at the 1978 US Open as she finished runner-up to Chris Evert in the women’s singles final.

The American failed to reach another Grand Slam singles final although she played in three Wimbledon semi-finals and three Australian Open semi-finals and won 21 top-level titles.

However, she achieved a lot of success in the doubles as she won 22 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles – including a Calendar Slam in 1984.

In an interview with WTA Tour, Shriver said: “Never got back to a major singles final.

“I know how it is to burst onto the scene, the expectations it creates. There are simply no guarantees of anything – nothing.”

The start of Gauff’s tennis career has been similar to that of Shriver as she made the world sit up and take note of her talent when she became the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon at the age of 15 years and three months in June 2019.

Gauff went on to win her first WTA Tour singles title before she turned 16 while last year she reached her maiden Grand Slam final as she finished runner-up to Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros. She has also had success in the doubles as she has two Grand Slam runners-up titles while she became the No 1 ranked doubles player last year.

The teenager celebrates her 19th birthday today (March 13) and Shriver believes one area that she needs to improve is her forehand as rivals will target that area.

“It’s not easy to overcome,” she said.

“Because everyone you play is trying to break down that side. I have no doubt that they’re doing everything they can to get that solved.”

As for dealing with the extra pressure as a teenager, Shriver added: “I just think Coco has to ratchet down the expectations, take it one day at a time and continue to be the professional she is.

“At the same time, while still being a teenager and having some sense of normalcy in a not-normal setting. She’s exceptional, and I feel like she’s finding that balance.

“If you just go on her movement, her serve, all her attributes, she will win plenty.”

READ MORE: Coco Gauff not yet the finished product claims former star

The article Pam Shriver’s sage advice for ‘exceptional’ Coco Gauff as teen turns 19 appeared first on