The US Open Winner's comments about people struggling to feed their families resonated with many people, including tennis player Maria Sakkari.
Tennis player Coco Gauff is getting candid about what the real issues in the world are right now. During a press conference recently, she was asked by a reporter how her practice helped her win a match that qualified her for the U.S. Open Women's Semifinals. During the match, the 19-year-old athlete beat Jelena Ostapenko 0-6, 2-6. Responding to the reporter's question, the Atlanta native got candid about what she feels "pressure" truly is in life.
"I think it's just putting my life into perspective. I mean, at first, I used to think negative things like why is it so much pressure, why is this so hard, blah blah blah," Gauff said, reports The Gazette. "And I realized that this isn't, like in a way it's pressure, but it's not—I mean, there's people struggling to feed their families. There's people who don't know when the next meal is going to come from. There's people who have to pay their bills. That's real pressure. That's real hardship. That's real life."
View this post on Instagram
Her words resonated with many people including tennis player Maria Sakkari. In a video shared by Talking Tennis, Sakkari is seen addressing Gauff's comments during the pre-tournament press conference at the San Diego Open. "There are a lot worse things than losing a tennis match... sometimes we're too focused on losing a match or something going wrong in our tennis career and we don't look at the outside. There are people that are homeless, people that are sick... parents are losing their children, people that lose their siblings... I can name things that are so much worse than losing a tennis match. Coco is actually very right. I couldn't agree with her more," she said.
The 28-year-old Greek sportswoman praised Gauff's mindset and thinks she's wise beyond her years. "She's very mature, she's a very nice person. She has her feet on the ground, so she knows what's happening in life. She’s right... It’s just that everyone focuses on their own problem. For us, losing a match is big. But compared to the outside, it’s something very small," Sakkari said.
Maria Sakkari on Coco Gauff saying tennis isn’t real pressure compared to people struggling to feed their families:— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 12, 2023
“There are a lot worse things than losing a tennis match.. sometimes we're too focused on losing a match or something going wrong in our tennis career & we don't… pic.twitter.com/QiHmPMCQH6
While she understands what the real-world issues are, she also has space for the passion and dedication it takes when it comes to being a sportsperson. Gauff's hard work paid off as she was soaking in the glory of her recent athletic accomplishment. The teen beat 25-year-old Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus in the Flushing Meadows final at the 2023 US Open on Saturday, September 9, 2023, winning her first-ever Grand Slam. She is the first American teenager to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999. "I feel a little bit in shock at this moment," Gauff told the crowd after winning her first Grand Slam title, reports PEOPLE. "That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me, and that makes this moment even more sweeter than I could imagine."
There were several people she was grateful for who helped her on this incredible journey. First, she thanked her family and jokingly exposed her dad: "This is the first time I've ever seen my dad cry—he doesn't want me to tell you that." She also appreciated her critics and "the people who didn't believe in me."
"To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it," she said. Finally, she thanked Billie Jean King, who was at the ceremony and presented her with a check for $3 million. "Thank you, Billie, for fighting for this," the charismatic teen said while waving the $3 million winner's cheque.