Cori Gauff backed by Patrick Mouratoglou to deal with scrutiny

Cori Gauff has the temperament to manage her “very high expectations” after an astonishing introduction to the elite of women’s tennis, according to Patrick Mouratoglou.

The 15-year-old emerged to worldwide prominence with her run to the fourth round at Wimbledon, on her main-draw Grand Slam debut, before she reached the third round at the US Open earlier this month.

Gauff can play a maximum of a further five tournaments before her 16th birthday in March under the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) age eligibility rule, introduced in the mid-1990s.

She has very high expectations.

Patrick Mouratoglou on Cori Gauff

The restrictions have received increased scrutiny, including arguments on both sides, and Mouratoglou insists the teenage sensation should have the opportunity to play more professional tennis.

“Age is a number,” Mouratoglou told Sky Sports, when asked how Gauff will deal with her increased awareness and demands.

“That is why I don’t like the rule. Some people are immature at 25, some people are mature at 15. I think ‘Coco’ is incredibly mature for her age.”

“She has very high expectations,” he added.

Mouratoglou, who has been working with Gauff at his academy in the south of France since she was 10, believes the American has the ability and personality to thrive in the women’s game – unlike previous young Grand Slam champions.

“On the other hand, dealing with that type of pressure is very difficult for everyone,” Mouratoglou said.

“We have seen these last two years, players win a Grand Slam and then suddenly disappear being unable to deal with the pressure.

“But I think she is doing really well with pressure because she came to the US Open with enormous pressure and she did well.

15.#USOpen | @CocoGauff pic.twitter.com/ujrDw5faEI

“We [at the academy] can help her for sure, we will help her, but she is also helping herself quite well. She is amazing.”

Gauff defeated five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, one of her childhood heroes, in the first round in July and subsequently declared her desire to become the “greatest” player ever.

Mouratoglou has worked as the coach of Serena Williams, who is one short of matching Margaret Court’s all-time tally of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, since June 2012 and the Frenchman sees similar character traits between the two players.

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“First of all I don’t compare players. Second, I will never compare anyone with Serena who is the greatest of all time,” he said.

“[But] with the psychology there are things in common because Coco thinks like a petit champion and this is very rare. She believes in herself, she is driven and she really believes she can do it.

“All the young players say they want to be No 1 but they don’t really mean it. When they play someone that is better ranked than them they are losing. ‘Coco’ is not like that.

“She played for the first time in her life on a big court at Wimbledon and she beat Venus Williams. She played her idol first round, she beat her, then she confirmed and showed so many good things.

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