Coco Gauff has explained why she’s looking to Serena Williams after reaching the world No 1 spot in doubles. The 19-year-old became the second-youngest player to reach the top of the doubles rankings after winning the title in Toronto alongside Jessica Pegula, and is also the world No 12 in singles.
Gauff achieved a huge career milestone on Monday when she reached world No 1 in the WTA doubles rankings. At just 18 years of age, she became the second-youngest woman behind Martina Hingis to ascend to the top of the tennis rankings after winning her second doubles title of the season at the WTA 1000 in Toronto with partner Pegula.
It comes after the teenager and her fellow American lifted the 1000-point title in Doha earlier this year, and made the French Open final. They are now the No 1 team in the race to the year-end WTA Finals, while Gauff and Pegula also sit at fifth and third in the singles race respectively.
After reaching the top spot of the doubles rankings, Gauff explained that Williams had been part of the reason she chose to focus on doubles alongside her singles career. “It’s pretty cool to be No 1 in something,” the five-time doubles title winner said.
“People overlook [doubles] sometimes, but people forget, Serena has 23 Slams in singles but she has 14 in doubles.” And the American admitted that she thought soon-to-be-retired Williams was the GOAT because of her ability in both singles and doubles, adding: “That’s why she’s the greatest player, too, because she dominates both sides of the game.”
Gauff has been full of praise for the former world No 1 of late, following Williams’ recent announcement that she would soon be retiring. “For me, I grew up watching her. I mean, that’s the reason why I play tennis,” the singles world No 12 said at last week’s Canadian Open.
“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.
“Then my dad, I think her whole story, the Williams sisters story, 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.’”