“She’s not going to stop at one” – former US Open champion Roddick thinks Coco Gauff has a Hall of Fame career ahead of her
Former US Open champion Andy Roddick says that Coco Gauff has multiple major titles in her future.
This year’s US Open marked the 20-year anniversary of Andy Roddick’s 2003 title, a triumph that fostered hope that the Nebraska native might someday climb to the top of tennis with myriad Grand Slam titles in tow, just like former Americans like Connors, McEnroe, Courier, Agassi and Sampras had done in the decades before.
Two decades later, we know it wasn’t meant to be. Swallowed up by the Big Three, Roddick was kept off the board at the Slams while the trio dominated like no other. The former world No 1, who retired at the age of 30 in 2012 when the count was Federer 17, Nadal 9, Djokovic 4, grew tired of the fruitless quest.
“With different women’s winners at the four Slams this year, there’s an intriguing level of parity,” he said. “It seems to be building towards men’s tennis in the 80s, where you had a bunch of players with the potential to win a handful rather than everything resting on one or two people.”— Andy Roddick
Funny that on the two-decade anniversary of Roddick’s crowning achievement, another promising American followed his footsteps almost to a tee. Also in the early days of a player-coach relationship with Roddick’s then-coach Brad Gilbert, Coco Gauff rocketed to the title in New York to become the youngest American to win a major since Serena Williams in 1999.
Unlike his own claim to fame, Roddick insists that Gauff’s crowning achievement won’t be a one-off.
“The difference is that she’s not going to stop at one,” he said in a blog for Betway. “There are dominant forces in women’s tennis, but I don’t think three players are going to win 66 of the next however many Slams, so there’s a much better runway for her.”
Roddick, who now spends time as an analyst for Tennis Channel as well as acting as Betway’s global tennis ambassador, called Gauff’s title run, which came a year after Serena Williams‘ emotional retirement in New York, “poetic.”
“Venus and Serena were Coco’s idols, so to announce herself on the Grand Slam stage in the first year of the US Open after Serena’s retirement – a tournament where we saw Serena carry the public interest for a couple of decades – is pretty poetic,” he said.
The former world No. 1 says that the current state of the women’s game gives 19-year-old a big shot at locking up multiple major titles. He compared the current elite of the women’s game to the top players on the ATP in the 1980’s. There were Beckers, Edbergs, Lendls and McEnroes, and they all capitalised on the opportunity to win many major titles.
“With different women’s winners at the four Slams this year, there’s an intriguing level of parity,” he said. “It seems to be building towards men’s tennis in the 80s, where you had a bunch of players with the potential to win a handful rather than everything resting on one or two people.”