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“I mean, at the end of the day she’s basically a junior high school,” said Corey Gauff. “And everyone knows that in high school you are still developing and learning, so there is big growth between 15 and 16 and even more big growth between 16 and 17. She just has the uniqueness of growing up on tour and on TV, so every time she does something, it’s news, and everyone is watching everything she does. But she’s just evolving, and she’s actually evolving pretty quickly, playing more games this year than 2020, where she has played so few games, really helping her to evolve.
Last year’s five-month hiatus from touring was both a burden and a blessing, in isolation for a teenage girl, but also a chance to mend her weaknesses out of the spotlight. But Corey Gauff said Coco had mental issues when the tour resumed because of the restrictions.
“This year is better,” said Corey Gauff. “The last year has been tough. You could see it was weighing on her. She was ranked high enough that she was more likely to be at the senior hotel, and her friends weren’t at that hotel. And the restrictions were much stricter last year than they are now. You literally just went to court and came back and she wasn’t having much fun. It showed in her tennis too. She just wasn’t happy, wasn’t so excited to be in the blisters last year. “
You are back in the same Paris hotel as at the French Open last year, playing the card game Uno again in the evening, but can now spend an hour outside the bubble every day. Although Coco hasn’t been vaccinated yet, Corey Gauff said it was he and his wife Candi, which alleviates some concerns and testing regimen.
“That hour out of the bubble makes a huge difference,” he said.
Candi Gauff wasn’t out with her husband and daughter at the start of the clay court season, but she joined them for Roland Garros, leaving the Gauff’s two younger sons with their grandparents at home in Delray Beach, Florida. “It’s nice to have her here,” said Coco Gauff.
Corey Gauff said that Coco benefits from her mother’s presence and also from her expertise. Candi Gauff was a hurdler and heptathlete in the state of Florida.
“She needs her mother,” he said. “Teenage girls need their mothers because it is they who are helping them become young women and deal with things and stresses, and of course my wife was a world class athlete so she understands the pressures and the discipline and preparation and that proper nutrition and related physiology. It is better that her mother tell her than her father tell her. “