Patrick Mouratoglou reckons 16-year-old Cori Gauff has the potential to win a Grand Slam and it could be sooner rather than later that happens.
Gauff has given enough indicators in recent times of her tennis pedigree and Serena Williams’ coach Mouratoglou thinks once she has sharpened her game a tad, the American teenager will come through and clinch her maiden major title.
Ranked 52nd in the world at the moment, Gauff won her first WTA title last season at Linz as a lucky loser. After missing out on making it to the main draw of the indoors tournament in Austria, she qualified through because of player pullouts and then defeated Kiki Bertens and Jelena Ostapenko in the competition to lift the title.
Mouratoglou believes her showing at the Grand Slams shone through as well. Winning all her 2019 Wimbledon qualifiers in straight sets, she then proceeded to crush Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 before making it as far as the fourth round there. Simona Halep, the eventual champion, finally managed to stop her winning streak.
At the US Open which followed, Gauff entered the third round, losing to Naomi Osaka but then had her revenge over the Japanese player when she brushed her aside at the same stage of the Australian Open earlier this year. Gauff finally lost in the fourth round in three sets to Sofia Kenin, again the eventual winner.
And these, according to Mouratoglou, are signs enough for him to think Gauff could go on to make it to a Grand Slam title-decider and even win it.
“I could see Coco getting to the final and winning a Grand Slam. And I feel she is not that far away. The match against Sofia Kenin in Melbourne showed Coco needs to improve yet. Of course she does.”
“She still plays at an incredible level and the self-belief she has is so strong that she can surprise and maybe win a Grand Slam.”
Mouratoglou said while there needs to be a lot of improvement before she can get to the levels of winning a major, Gauff had the ingredients which make a top player including an excellent serve and a solid backhand. He also pointed to her ability to get to the net and to handle pressure in match situations.
“She already understands a lot of things in tennis but still it is not enough. There is still some space for her opponents to win the points. Definitely there is still room for improvement.”
With the coronavirus outbreak having resulted in the cancellation or postponement of multiple tennis tournaments, it now remains to be seen when we see Gauff back in action though.