Maria Sharapova: “I was so impressed with how Coco Gauff handled the US Open victory, also it’s great seeing the rise of Mirra Andreeva”
Maria Sharapova has lavished praise on the new generation in women’s tennis, singling out Coco Gauff and Mirra Andreeva as particularly exciting talents.Sharapova is set to feature in the second edition of the Pickleball Slam, joining forces with John McEnroe to take on Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf for a $1 million purse. The blockbuster showdown will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida, on Sunday, February 4.
Despite making the transition to pickleball, Maria Sharapova remains connected to the tennis world, keeping a close eye on the rising stars in the women’s game.In a recent interview with Forbes, the five-time Grand Slam champion disclosed that she was highly impressed by Coco Gauff’s triumph at the 2023 US Open and expressed delight in witnessing emerging talents like Mirra Andreeva making their mark on the tour.
“I’ve loved watching a new generation rise up to the occasion. I was so impressed with how Coco handled the [US Open] victory in New York last year. Also, it’s great seeing the rise of new names and opportunities for athletes like Mirra Andreeva,” she said.
Sharapova also conveyed her appreciation for the growing consistency in women’s tennis, calling it a “refreshing” development.
“We’re seeing so much more consistency in the women’s game and that has been really refreshing,” she added.
Coco Gauff was on the hunt for her second Grand Slam title at the recently concluded Australian Open. The World No. 3 made an impressive run to the semifinals of the Major, where she took on defending champion Aryna Sabalenka. Sabelenka claimed a 7-6(2), 6-4 win over the American en route to her second consecutive title at the Melbourne Slam.Following her loss, Gauff declared her intention to not dwell on it, drawing inspiration from tennis legends Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, who never allowed a defeat to define their careers.
“You know, I watched these matches growing up and, like, watching Serena and watching Sharapova lose, like, these matches. It seems like when you’re in it, it feels like the end of the world. But then when you look at history, they didn’t let one match define their career,” Coco Gauff said in her post-match press conference.
The 19-year-old conveyed her resolve to adopt a similar mindset, which aligned with the advice given by her coach, Brad Gilbert.
“I’m not going to let this match — I’m going to dwell on it tonight, but as Brad told me as soon as the match was over, the sun is going to rise tomorrow and you have a new chance to live a good day,” she added.