US Open 2019: How does Coco Gauff compare to 1997 Venus Williams?

By Sports Desk August 24, 2019

Coco Gauff will make her second grand slam appearance at the US Open next week, fresh from capturing the tennis world's imagination with her stunning Wimbledon performance.

The 15-year-old reached the fourth round after becoming the All England Club's youngest qualifier in the Open era, and she will be one of the main attractions at her home slam.

Gauff beat her idol in the first round at Wimbledon when she defeated Venus Williams, who in 1997 shocked tennis by progressing to the US Open final as a 17-year-old before losing to Martina Hingis.

It will be a difficult challenge for Gauff to replicate that achievement, but how does her career to this point stack up to that of the adolescent Venus? We compared their two records to find out.

WTA Tour record: Williams (before the 1997 US Open) 10-9, Gauff 4-4

By the time she arrived at Flushing Meadows for her first US Open, Williams was effectively a regular on the tour and had already enjoyed reasonable success. She reached the quarter-finals at Indian Wells and beat Jennifer Capriati in Miami, where she suffered the first of two straight-sets defeats to Hingis that served as preludes to their New York showpiece.

Gauff, meanwhile, has been largely limited to the lower-level ITF circuit beyond her exploits at Wimbledon. She did beat fellow emerging talent and doubles partner Caty McNally in the first round in Miami, but that marks her only victory on the WTA Tour away from the All England Club.

Singles finals: Williams 0, Gauff 1 (ITF)

Gauff does have the experience of a singles final that the young Venus did not, though it came on the ITF Tour in Surprise, Florida in February. She suffered defeat to Sesil Karatantcheva and there was no clue at that point of the highs to come at Wimbledon.

World ranking: Williams 66, Gauff 141

The teenage Venus' performances on the tour going into the US Open had helped her become established in the top 100. Gauff still has some way to go to achieve the same feat but a Wimbledon-esque run for the 15-year-old in Queens would catapult her up the rankings.

Grand Slam win-loss record: Williams 1-2, Gauff 3-1

The major difference between the 17-year-old Venus and the 15-year-old Gauff is that prior to her dream run in the Big Apple, Williams had shown no signs of being able to deliver on the grand slam stage. She reached the second round at the French Open before being beaten by Nathalie Tauziat. At Wimbledon she lost to Magdalena Grzybowska in round one, providing little indication of the form she was about to find - or the game that would see her eventually win seven slam singles titles.

The contrast to Gauff could hardly be greater, with plenty of expectation sure to be on her shoulders after Wimbledon wins over Venus, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog and a defeat to Simona Halep in which she did herself no disservice.

Related items

  • Nadal dethrones Croatia and puts Spain into last eight Nadal dethrones Croatia and puts Spain into last eight

    Rafael Nadal ended Croatia's reign as Davis Cup champions and put Spain into the quarter-finals after history was made in Germany's clean sweep of Argentina on Wednesday.

    Nadal sealed the hosts' passage into the last eight at La Caja Magica with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Borna Gojo, the world number one's 26th consecutive singles win in the competition.

    That gave Spain a 2-0 lead and ensured Croatia could not finish above Russia in Group B due to Andrey Rublev's defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday.

    Bautista Agut earlier made amends for that loss by easing to a 6-1 6-3 thrashing of Nikola Mektic in the opening rubber on day three.

    Germany made a dream start in Madrid, beating Argentina 3-0 with Philipp Kohlschreiber seeing off Guido Pella 1-6 6-3 6-4 and Jan-Lennard Struff a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) victor over Diego Schwartzman.

    Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies put the icing on the cake against Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer by winning the longest Davis Cup tie-break – taking the final set 7-6 (20-18).

    Germany are top of Group C and denied Argentina the chance to seal a spot in the quarter-finals. 

    Andy Murray marked his first Davis Cup appearance in over three years with a hard-fought 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win over Tallon Griekspoor in Great Britain's 2-1 Group E success over Netherlands.

    Novak Djokovic eased past Yoshihito Nishioka  6-1 6-2 in Serbia's 3-0 triumph over Japan, while Australia progressed after beating Belgium 2-1 and the United States edged Italy 2-1 in a clash between two nations already eliminated.

  • Spurs appoint Mourinho: Without superclub baggage, Jose might prove he isn't yesterday's man Spurs appoint Mourinho: Without superclub baggage, Jose might prove he isn't yesterday's man

    As football fans in the United Kingdom awoke bleary eyed to take in the Premier League story of the season, one word stood out in the statement announcing Jose Mourinho's appointment as Tottenham's head coach – a ghost of hubris past.

    "I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," Mourinho said.

    Heritage. Football heritage.

    This was the subject of Mourinho's self-pitying soliloquy in the aftermath of Manchester United's limp Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Sevilla in March 2018.

    A much-trumpeted union that returned two trophies in its first season was going south and Mourinho tried to circle the wagons.

    During a 12-minute address where "heritage" was mentioned 10 times, his general point was he had been dealt a duff hand at United. Other rivals were better equipped, having spent more money more effectively to breed cultures of sustained success.

    One of the flaws in his argument – there were a few – was the reality of him talking as the manager of Manchester United, the 20-time champions of England. He selected an £89.3million midfielder on the bench for the 2-1 loss to Sevilla at Old Trafford, where he trudged the technical area forlornly under the glare of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

    Much as he would talk in reverent terms of his second-place in the Premier League that season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, Mourinho failed at United.

    Another press conference rant, where he exited the room demanding "respect" from those present, came after a 3-0 home loss to Spurs five months on from the Sevilla debacle. Mourinho was a man who had lost the thread and any notion of him succeeding Mauricio Pochettino, who so comprehensively bested him that night, felt beyond absurd at that moment.

    Underdog, not top dog

    Similarly, the 2011-12 LaLiga title triumph at Real Madrid took a heavy toll upon coach and squad alike, with his Santiago Bernabeu tenure concluding unsatisfactorily 12 months later. When in charge of greats of the game, clubs familiar with prolonged and recent success, Mourinho's schtick came up short.

    His greatest deeds played out in sharply contrasting circumstances.

    No team outside Europe's "big five" leagues had won the Champions League in the eight years before Mourinho masterminded Porto's march to glory in 2003-04 and none have since.

    Chelsea were flushed with Roman Abramovich's riches but had not won an English championship since 1954-55. The self-proclaimed Special One delivered two in two seasons after arriving at Stamford Bridge as a freshly minted European champion.

    Mourinho reacquainted himself with the continent's big trophy at Inter. The 2009-10 Champions League was the Nerazzuri's third win in the competition but first since 1964-65.

    That triumph symbolically came at the Bernabeu, with the big job lying in wait for a man who had defined a decade in European club football. It concluded Mourinho's imperial period.

    The rancour and recriminations of the past nine years leads to an understandable conclusion Tottenham have appointed a downgrade on Pochettino, replacing one of football's brightest contemporary minds with yesterday's man.

    But if anything should encourage tentative enthusiasm for the third act of Mourinho's coaching career at the elite level, it is that Spurs bear more resemblance to the Porto, Chelsea and Inter teams he took hold of than Madrid or United.

    Pochettino's sustained excellent over the past five seasons in north London does not mean the scars of "Spursy", "St Totteringham's Day" and other mockery do not still sting a little for a club starved of trophy success. Spurs feels like a place where Mourinho can promise the world and demand everyone falls into line far more effectively than when in charge of a superclub.

    Those are the jobs Mourinho aspires to – and probably the roles Pochettino will grace soon enough – but it is hard to escape the feeling he has always been better suited to the rung below, with a point to prove and the spite to fuel a siege mentality his men will buy into. 

    Alli as Lampard, Kane as Drogba?

    So, what of that squad? That all important heritage.

    It feels safe to say Mourinho is far happier with his lot than when he walked into Old Trafford. Not least because the likes of Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Harry Kane were all touted as United targets when he was in Manchester.

    His best teams have featured a potent striker willing to work hard for the cause, hard running wingers and a goalscoring threat from attacking midfield. Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli in tandem could feel instantly more "Mourinho" than anything he threw together at United.

    Behind them, a combination of Dier and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele feel equipped to provide the power and control his most dominant engine rooms boasted.

    As for an aging Tottenham defence, they will probably welcome the defensive line being dropped a touch deeper, in line with their new boss' more reactive principles. Indeed, a squad featuring seasoned, maturing professionals arguably come under Mourinho's charge at the right time – no longer the all-action, do-or-die tyros who served Pochettino so well until recently.

    "It's a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels happiness in relation to the squad that he's going to have," a suited and smiling Mourinho told Spurs TV. The smile won't last over the course of a three-and-a-half year contract – it never does – but in the meantime, he might just have found the right place to earn a little more of that respect he craves.

  • Spurs appoint Mourinho: Skipp, Parrott... Maurizio Pochettino - Tottenham talents for Jose to watch Spurs appoint Mourinho: Skipp, Parrott... Maurizio Pochettino - Tottenham talents for Jose to watch

    Jose Mourinho has been appointed as Tottenham's new head coach, returning to the Premier League in place of the sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

    The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss will be tasked with turning around Spurs' fortunes in the Premier League, as they lie a concerning 14th heading into the weekend.

    However, as well as those short-term issues, it appears Mourinho is keen to ensure Tottenham continue to bring players through from their academy - following in the footsteps of Harry Kane and Harry Winks.

    "The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me," Mourinho said on Wednesday. "Working with these players is what has attracted me."

    The Portuguese has been criticised for his failure to make the most of young talents at previous clubs, but there are certainly some players on Tottenham's books that should intrigue the new coach.

    We pick out five Spurs prospects Mourinho may have his eye on.

    KYLE WALKER-PETERS

    Now 22, Walker-Peters has 12 Premier League appearances to his name, but having seen Kieran Trippier depart for Atletico Madrid, many feel the versatile full-back should have featured more under Pochettino this season. Serge Aurier was preferred at right-back but has consistently floundered, meaning Mourinho might have to turn to Walker-Peters sooner rather than later.

    TASHAN OAKLEY-BOOTHE

    Midfielder Oakley-Boothe appeared to have the world at his feet in 2017. He was named on the bench for a Premier League game in August, played in the EFL Cup the following month and then won the Under-17 World Cup with England in October. But Oakley-Boothe has not featured for the Tottenham first team since, with injuries hindering his progress. There is talent there if Mourinho can prevent further drift.

    OLIVER SKIPP

    While Oakley-Boothe has got backwards, Skipp - seven months his junior - has stepped into the void. The 19-year-old started in a pair of Premier League wins last season and was in the matchday squad for both legs of the Champions League semi-final epic against Ajax. The team's woes have limited his involvement this term, but Skipp is still on the way up.

    TROY PARROTT

    As news broke of negotiations between Spurs and Mourinho, reports emerged Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich were targeting Parrott. The 17-year-old has already been capped by the Republic of Ireland, but his Tottenham deal is up in 2021. Mourinho must quickly assess the teenage marksman and urge the club to act to avoid another contract debacle.

    MAURIZIO POCHETTINO

    While one Pochettino has departed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mauricio's son Maurizio remains for now. The time has come for academy winger Pochettino Jr to prove he deserves to be at Spurs in his own right. He may find a supporter in Mourinho, though, whose own son Zuca has struggled to make the grade as a goalkeeper.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.