7 time major champion Venus Williams throws support behind Coco

Aug 30, 2021, 1:23 PM

Venus Williams says she will be rooting for her fellow countrywoman Coco Gauff at the U.S. Open and believed the teenage sensation could have a breakthrough campaign in New York, this week.

The seven-time major winner Venus, opted out of the championship due to leg injury, joining her younger sister Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on a list of superstars who will be sitting out the tournament at the Flushing Meadows because of injuries.

"She's awesome - Maybe she will have a breakthrough tournament,” Venus says of 'Coco' whom she partnered with during the first round of the French Open women's doubles tournament in Paris last June. Venus who won the U.S. Open twice in 2000 and 2001 continued, "She’s got so much in her head over though so, all she needs to do is to focus on continuing to get better."

It is no secret that Coco has drawn inspiration from the Williams sisters. She has since her childhood days looked-up to Serena and Venus and often refer to them as her idols. "What drew me to them was how they play and what they have achieved in the sport, and just seeing someone come from where they came from make it big on tour. That was definitely inspiring for my dad to get me to play. I modeled parts of my game after both of them,” says Coco, referring to the Williams sisters' contribution towards her decision to play tennis. “And definitely their off-court impacts and what they’ve done for the game in fighting for equality is super inspiring. That’s why I always look up to them.

Serena 39, and older sister Venus 41, are undergoing recovery processes as they seek to heal from their respective injuries. This makes it the first time since 2003 that neither of the sisters will appear in the year's last Grand Slam tournament in New York.

Editor's note; We wish them speedy recovery as they continued their healing process from their respective injuries in preparation for their future tournaments.

Coco 17, begins the U.S. Open tournament with a first round match against Magna Linette of Poland at Louis Armstrong Stadium - the same venue where she won twice to reach the third round of the U.S. Open in her debut appearance in 2019. As reward and testament to her hard work, perseverance and never-say-die attitude, the incredible Coco became the youngest player to reach the last 32, since Anna Kournikova's magical run to the last 16 at the Flushing Meadows in 1996.

Despite a disappointing first round exit in New York the following year, which could largely be attributed to Covid-19 pandemic - which hampered her progress under extremely difficult conditions - Coco continues to leave her mark on the world's biggest tennis stage, reaching the quarterfinals of the Roland Garros in June this year, her best result in a major since she burst on to the scene two years ago.

Coco is the number 23rd-ranked-player in the WTA world tennis rankings and will be for the first time seeded at the U.S. Open.

Her rapid rise to stardom has been the best tennis story since she made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon in 2019, at aged 15 - reaching the fourth round at an all England club championship in historic fashion.

Author: Lamin Drammeh, a multiple award winning journalist & former sports editor, The Point Newspaper.

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