On the latest edition of the Beyond the Baseline Podcast, host Jon Wertheim talks with 15-year-old Coco Gauff following her breakout 2019 season, which included a fourth-round run at Wimbledon, her maiden WTA title and a rankings jump from No. 685 at the beginning of the year to No. 68. Gauff talks about the goals she set for herself in the beginning of the season and what it's like to have achieved them; how she's dealing with the spotlight; how she manages school, practice and fitness throughout the year; what the locker room is like for a player her age; and much more.
Jon Wertheim: I want to go back to your year, because you you were saying early in the year: I want to be top 100 by the end of 2019. So you had this ambition. But it still feels like fiction that you accomplished it.
Coco Gauff: Yeah. Because I guess when I made that goal, I wasn't really thinking about the limits for the tournaments and all of that. I actually sent my friend a text, I think it was like January 1st or 2nd, listing my goals to him. I told my dad and he was kind of shocked, but he never, ever said I couldn't do it. So he never gave it back. I mean, now he told me that he thought I can do it, but he would never tell me that then. He would never give me that because he wants me to go for all my dreams. And he just formulated a plan to help make that happen. And it happened. I achieved my goal.
JW: Look at you now. You mentioned your dad—how would you most like him and how are you most like your mom?
CG: With my dad, I feel like we're both pretty stubborn people. I feel like we're both fiery. And I think my dad has more of a temper than me whereas my mom, she's more chill and she's more like, OK, let's take things slow and have patience. I'm literally right in the middle. I do get made sometimes, but my dad can go from zero to 100 real quick, whereas me, it takes a little bit more time.