BY Novieku Babatunde Adeola, 9:00am April 20, 2020,

Young tennis star, Coco Gauff says fame made her “depressed”

Coco Gauff Depression-Photo: Aljazeera

Rising tennis star, Coco Gauff, has disclosed that the pressures from her newfound fame in Tennis came at a price, as she struggled with her mental health.

The 16-year old, who had one of the best runs in the Grand Slam, also experienced one of the most difficult periods, she said in an article for Behind The Racquet. Considered as a growing force in Tennis, Gauff has caused some of the game’s biggest upsets.

“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want,” she wrote. “It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Once I let that all go, that’s when I started to have the results I wanted.”

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, she made headlines last July after she made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon – despite losing to Simona Halep of Romania in the quarter-finals.

Also, prior to the suspension of all sporting activities in January as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, Gauff defeated one of her idols, Venus Williams to reach the fourth round of the Australian open – the second time she had done so.

Despite those positive moments, she admitted in the article that she nursed thoughts of taking a year off the game just to “think about her life”.

“Choosing not to obviously was the right choice but I was close to not going in that direction. I was just lost,” she stated in her piece.–kAqng-fo/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

“I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted or what others did. It took many moments sitting, thinking and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever.”

According to New York Times, Gauff’s use of the term “depressed” set off a flurry of headlines and evoked memories of earlier teen tennis phenoms, like Jennifer Capriati, who struggled with depression and the effects of fame at an early age.

Responding to her comments, her father and coach, Corey Gauff said that fame was not the problem and that depression was not the proper characterization of his daughter’s issues.

“That’s the thing that was alarming, and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up,” said Corey, who is one of Coco’s coaches. “She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression,” New York Times reported.

“There’s no medicine going on,” he added. “This is a kid’s personal pressure that they put on themselves and how they deal with it and how they mature.”

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: April 20, 2020


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