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Delray Beach tennis star Coco Gauff discusses battle with depression

Considered 'possibly taking a year off'
Posted at 3:41 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:21:08-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Delray Beach sports star Coco Gauff is opening up about some of the struggles she has faced on her way to becoming the hottest young star in women's tennis.

Gauff burst onto the tennis scene last year, reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon in her first major championship appearance. Then in January, she made a strong run in the Australian Open that included defeating defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round.

But all of that success hasn't come with some tough times for the young star.

The 16 year old recently penned a piece featured in the Behind The Racquet website where she opens up about trying to fit in and simply be a normal teenager.

"At times I found myself too busy comparing myself to others. Most of my friends go to normal high school. I felt like they always seemed so happy being ‘normal," she writes in the piece.

Gauff also discusses how traveling around the world for events means she misses out on special events like her brother's birthday because its at the time of the French Open.

"I have two younger brothers and we are all really close. Every time I leave them it hurts a bit," she says. "They understand and are always supportive of what I do."

She even says before her wins at Wimbledon last year, she was struggling to enjoy tennis and "for about a year I was really depressed" and in a "dark mindset."

"It went so far that I was thinking about possibly taking a year off to just focus on life," said Gauff. "I was just lost. I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted."

"It took many moments sitting, thinking and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever."

She says she likes playing tennis for more than herself and enjoys have girls come up to her saying they're playing tennis for the first time because of her.

Gauff, who has been touted as the heir apparent to the Williams sisters in American women's tennis, says she doesn't like the comparison since she has not attained their level of success.

"Of course I hope to get to where they are, but they are the two women that set the pathway for myself, which is why I can never be them. I feel like I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to be at this level without them. I would never have even thought about joining tennis, without them a part of it."

Gauff is currently ranked No. 52 in the world, according to the Women's Tennis Association.