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Coco Gauff opens up on struggles with mental health due to rapid rise

‘For about a year I was really depressed’: 16-year-old tennis sensation Coco Gauff opens up on struggles with mental health due to rapid rise as she reveals she had to rediscover love for the game

  • Coco Gauff became first 15-year-old in 15 years to break into top 50 of rankings
  • She has revealed a battle with depression and need to rediscover love for tennis 
  • Teenager conceded that she thought about taking a break from sport for a year
  • Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on whether tennis can resume 

Coco Gauff has followed in a long line of teenage tennis stars by revealing that the pursuit of success adversely affected her mental health.

The 16-year-old American says she suffered a spell of depression around two years ago, prior to the stunning ascent that saw her become a sensation at Wimbledon last summer. 

‘Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want,’ she told website Behind The Racquet. 

Coco Gauff has opened up on her struggles with mental health due to her rapid rise in tennis

‘It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Right before Wimbledon, around 2017-18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. 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.’ 

The American reached the Wimbledon fourth round in her first Grand Slam outing last summer

The American reached the Wimbledon fourth round in her first Grand Slam outing last summer

Taking a break from tennis was seriously considered. ‘Choosing not to was the right choice but I was close to not going in that direction. I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted or what others did.’  

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on whether the game can resume even at the end of this summer. 

‘Tennis is a world sport,’ he told Onda Cero radio in Spain. ‘It seems difficult that a big tournament can be played in the short or medium term.’



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