Late last night at about midnight, Pacific Standard Time, the American, tennis phenom, Coco Gauff, played the number five seed at the Australian Open, the year’s first major. She is 16 and Elina Svitolina, a Ukrainian, is 26.
Both players seemed on top of their game. Coco, now a few weeks from her 17th birthday, looked fast, powerful and precise. Elina, though, was also moving well on the court, helping to neutralize one of Coco’s biggest strengths. Svitolina is far more accustomed to playing in the majors than Gauff. Elina simply won more big points
Sometimes it’s just a tincture of time that is needed, even for a phenomenal athlete. In the current era of professional tennis, only Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova and Monica Seles have won their initial major in their year ending at 17 years of age. The Williams sisters (Serena and Venus), Naomi Osaka, and Steffi Graff did not. Perhaps if Coco’s first name started with “M”?
Seriously, I think Ms. Gauff will be where she wants to be soon. Go Coco!