WTA

Gauff's parents clarify teenager's 'depression' comments

By Sports Desk April 19, 2020

Coco Gauff's parents have allayed concerns about the teenage sensation's mental health after she spoke of struggling with depression.

Gauff shot to prominence last year with a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon in her maiden grand slam appearance aged only 15.

The American won her first WTA singles title in Linz last season and reached round four of the Australian Open three months ago.

Gauff told 'Behind the Racquet' that she found it difficult to cope with so much expectation at such a young age and had considered taking a year out of the game.

The world number 52 said she had been "really depressed" for about a year, but her father told the New York Times that she had not been diagnosed with depression.

Corey Gauff, one of the prodigy's coaches, said: "That's the thing that was alarming [stating she had been depressed], and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up.

"She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression."

He added: "There’s no medicine going on. This is a kid's personal pressure that they put on themselves and how they deal with it and how they mature."

Candi Gauff believes her daughter's defeats of older opponents on the junior circuit may have come at a cost.

She said: "That led to loneliness at the tournaments, which leads to sadness, so for a period of time she was unhappy.

"I don’t want to say the word 'jealousy', but it was a spirit of, 'Why is this young girl winning?' So she was isolated."

Candi Gauff also thinks Coco may have felt she had been missing out when she was able to see what other children had been up to on social media, having been home-schooled since third grade.

She said: "You are seeing other kids posting photos of going to these high school events, and you're wondering what would life be like if I didn't play tennis."

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