Coco Gauff glory – John McEnroe hails American and wonders who was ‘writing her off’ before US Open crown


Coco Gauff glory – John McEnroe hails American and wonders who was ‘writing her off’ before US Open crown

Eurosport expert John McEnroe has paid tribute to his fellow American Coco Gauff after her stunning US Open triumph and wondered who was “writing her off”.

Gauff fell a set down to the big-hitting Aryna Sabalenka in Saturday’s showpiece final but responded quite brilliantly to complete an inspired comeback and claim her maiden Grand Slam singles title in the deciding set.

A raucous home crowd took great delight in roaring the 19-year-old on to glory inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, and McEnroe has joined the host of big names to laud her performance and further respond to the doubters that she highlighted in her post-tournament media appearances.

“It is obviously great for Americans,” McEnroe said on Eurosport ahead of the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.

“I’m not sure what Mats and I can add when you have the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams, the Obamas paying tribute… I mean, come on!

“I heard Coco talking about the people who were writing her off and saying that she was never going to win a major. Who were those people?

“I’m not familiar with those people because I think her progress has been steady. It has been really positive, and she was in the final of the French.

“Okay, so there were a couple of stumbling blocks along the way, but I don’t think anyone didn’t think she was going to win a bunch of majors.

“So, well done, Coco Gauff because, at the end of the day, Sabalenka came out on fire and was hitting the ball absolutely huge.

“She had a chance in the first game of the second set to get the early break, but she did not do so. That allowed Gauff and her athleticism into this.”


Coco Gauff

Image credit: Getty Images

Wilander added: “I heard that in the speech too and I was going to ask, and you brought it up… I can’t imagine that there were people in America that thought she was not going to win a Slam.

“I mean, where does that come from? Is that her forehand, the longer swing on the forehand and that maybe she would not be able to control it at some point?

“Why do you think someone would say that? Because she has been growing in the right direction.”

McEnroe responded: “I’m questioning whether people said it, or if it was a couple of people in a basement somewhere. You know – there was a tweet somewhere and someone said it?

“Anyone who knows anything about tennis has seen the progress she has made, and she is 19 years old, for goodness sake. I mean, come on!

“Yes, perhaps the forehand with the big loop, but doesn’t Medvedev have a pretty big loop on his forehand? He is doing okay!

“So, there are players who adapt and do what they have to do to get the job done – and that’s what she did.”

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