February 26, 2021

Wimbledon 2019: Cori Gauff: "I'm weird and goofy" | sports

It has tables Cori Gauff (Atlanta, 15 years old) even for the negative. "I'm so sorry, now I have to leave …", he says with a pained expression when a brief conversation arises, as he walks towards the locker room reserved for tennis players of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. Then the march continues, and then he comes back and apologizes a second time. "I'm sorry, but they're waiting for me …", she argues as she points with a subtle turn of the neck to three men who invite her with their presence to quickly close the dialogue. The trio can not avoid, however, that the persecution is successful a day later, when the girl who is turning upside down Wimbledon has already finalized its duel in the eighths (towards 16.00, Movistar Sports) against Simona Halep.

– How would you define yourself?

The American, who already made history by being the youngest ranked for the major British and even more by winning the first three games in the main draw, sharpens the look. It shows braids and two rows of teeth like pearls, ebony skin and a very fibrous figure. All eyes are on top of it, because the sport believes that it is witnessing the birth of a star of the real ones, not a figure of quick consumption. The United States cares for her, entertains her and empowers her, and tennis now welcomes her with open arms, enthused by a prodigy who aims to follow in the footsteps of precocious heroines like Martina Hingis (she was 16 years and six months old). number one youngest in history, and at 17 he won in the same season Australia, Wimbledon and the US Open), Jenniffer Capriati (the youngest professional to play a final, with 13 years and 11 months, and the fourth with less age in winning a tournament, with 14 and six) or Monica Seles (won Roland Garros with 16 and was number one with 17).

She, Gauff, Coconut because he prefers it and is treated like that, he travels these days in that direction, towards a sports paradise that can sometimes become a vital hell. He knows Hingis (cocaine), Capriati knows (drugs, alcohol and police arrests) and unfortunately knows Seles, who was never the same since a fan stabbed in 1993. With all of them is compared to Gauff, who cavils for almost five seconds and it is defined naturally.

– Mmm … I'm weird (weird). Weird, goofy (tontorrona, in a sympathetic sense) … and, I do not know, yes, weird and silly, I suppose.

Even if he has the raging moments of his generation, he speaks these days Gauff with an exceptional aplomb. She is a girl, but she assumes and processes everything around her with the coldness of a veteran. He likes music, blogging and messing with social networks. In one of his multitudinous press conferences, he said that the message that has most surprised him so far is the one he received from Tina Knowles, the mother of the singer Beyoncé. He also told that he tweeted Michelle Obama, one of his references for how he handled everything during the presidency of Barack Obama. And when he was reminded that he has already raised $ 200,000 in this tournament, his age sprang up: "I can not buy a car, because I still can not drive … And I hate to spend money, I do not know. Maybe I'll buy some sweatshirt from MSFTSrep, the Jaden line (Smith, American actor and rapper). "

He also says that he believes in destiny, that "things go through something" and that he wants to "be the greatest". Resides in Delray Beach (Florida), signed his first advertising contract at age 10, with Nike, and has already invoiced more than one million dollars in sponsorships. It is represented by Roger Federer's agency (Team 8) and the tutelage of Patrick Mouratoglou, the technician of Serena. She has grown up while admiring the successes of the Williams sisters and last week defeated Venus, 24 years older.

"Definitely, Coco is at another level", details the 23-strong champion, on the way to the age of 38 and of which Gauff had a poster in his room; "I love her and her family. Her father (Corey, the technician who prepares her, former basketball player in Georgia) is a good man and her mother (Candi, ex-student of the University of Florida) is charming. It's an honor that Coco had me on her wall, soon she will be in that of many other girls. " The parent also speaks, through some statements to the WTA: "Everything is happening very fast, there is a lot of attention on it. We are in a hotel and we hope to extend the reservation. It is very well surrounded. We do not talk much about tennis once the games are over. What is happening is very special. The first thing I saw on TV was Wimbledon. "

He has two younger brothers (Codey, 4 years old and Cameron, 9 years old) and in his future, he answers Rafael Nadal to EL PAÍS, the circle that surrounds it will have a lot to do with it. "It will depend on your environment and your character. If you have the ability to assimilate things normally, success at such an early age is very good, fantastic, for many things. Hopefully you have people next to help you to assimilate and live all this with the greatest normality and tranquility possible, "recommends the Mallorcan, who blesses his irruption:" It's a positive story for our sport. In the end, that people come and do special things as she is doing, she helps the promotion of tennis. It creates expectation and influences young people. That a 15-year-old girl is capable of reaching the round of 16 means a lot and I am very happy for her ".

Carla Suárez (30) is also pleased with the launch, which at the same time invites prudence. "Everyone is talking about it … and it should not be easy to handle it. When you are young you go to your march, you go and play with desire and content, and you have nothing to lose, "says the Canarian; "But yes, it's shocking because he's only 15 years old. He is doing things that other people have done, but not at that age. For the statements he makes, it seems that his head is well furnished. And he knows how to play. At long points he does not let go. It's positive for women's tennis, but be careful: to see how far it goes. "

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