Australian Open 2020: Tyson, kayaking and dancing, encouragement for Gauff | sports

As if it took half a life before the microphones, Coco Gauff she unfolds before journalists with the dialectical expertise of a veteran. However, he is only 15 years old and, he said after coming back against Sorana Cirstea (4-6, 6-3 7-5) and getting the ticket for the third round of the Australian Open, he has very little left to achieve the license to drive. “I already have the permit [la autorización requerida para practicar en Estados Unidos]But I brought it to Australia and I don’t know why … My mother kept it, so she won’t lose it. She lets me drive less than my father… ”, he joked in front of a large group of special envoys, because his media resonance is proportional to his sporting precocity.

Gauff has a star. And the United States pampers her as if destiny were written in advance. In just six months, everything has changed. She should be competing among the juniors, but she is already 67th in the world, she has won a professional title (Linz) and last summer she made history at Wimbledon, becoming the youngest player to enter the main draw of the British great. “My goal is to be the best in history. That is my goal, to win the greatest number of Grand Slams ”, assures the athlete without shame, whose face already occupies the covers of prestigious magazines, late nights, advertisements. Your nation awaits you. Vertigo under pressure? None.

“I respect everyone, but I think I can beat anyone,” he says. “She is extremely mature for her age,” said Venus Williams, 24 years older than her and exhausted both times they have met, in London and last Monday in Melbourne. “He is special, very aware of everything around him. It can be a great inspiration for people, especially for young people, ”says Billie-Jean King, winner of 12 greats. Everything is praise and she processes them naturally, knowing that an excessive reality is upon her, although there is her protective belt: her father and coach, Corey, her mother Candi and coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

The latter, the Frenchman who has trained Serena Williams for years and also advises the talented Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, owns an academy in Nice where Gauff has paraded many times and last month he devised a coexistence to crown the preseason. In a strategy of team building (team building), brought together Serena, Gauff, Chris Eubanks and Marius Copil from December 10 to 20, accompanied by a couple of juniors. The setting for the meeting was Boca Raton, an idyllic place in southern Florida where Naomi Osaka, Coco’s next rival, resides. There he organized a series of group activities led by former boxer Mike Tyson, famed fitness trainer Shaun T, and DJ Bob Sinclair. And there was everything: triathlon, diving, basketball, kayak races, dinners and karaoke.

Cori Gauff and MIke Tyson, last month in Boca Raton. @COCOGAUFF

The camp de Mouratoglou was actually responding to the objective of a conspiracy so that this year Gauff continues to grow and grow, and the legendary Williams (6-2 and 6-3 to Tamara Zidansek) find the way to the infinity of the 24 greats. “I don’t usually box a lot, because it’s not good for my nails, and I always dance because it’s more entertaining than going to the gym every day, right?” Serena reasons. “The moment was the choreography with her,” says the last girl prodigy of the racket. “Really, this has been my first preseason because I was a junior,” says the girl, who these days entertains with an application (TikTok) to create music videos.

“Everybody thinks I’m as serious as on the track, but I’m not. I don’t really take life too seriously. I just want to have fun, ”he says as his game continues to evolve. To his freshness he adds a formidable mobility –he measures 1.75 and weighs about 55 kilos–, and that solidity in the rally that has sustained him in his first appearances in the greats; Technically quite neat, it is now required to sharpen the right to gain track and enhance the offensive phase, because in the retreat it is pure marble. “Pure talent”, describes the German Steffi Graf, with 22 majors on the record.

“I only have to worry about my game, not what people think about me. I still have a lot to improve… ”, Gauff closes in Melbourne, where he will meet another young woman who hatched a year and a half ago, Naomi Osaka (22). The Japanese linked two greats – the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open last year – but has lost incandescence. In September, both ended up comforting each other through tears after the Japanese defeated the American in the third round in New York. Now, Coco is faced with the challenge of climbing another step to that place that, they say, belongs to her.

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