Roger Federer expressed his admiration for Cori “Coco” Gauffs ability to handle the spotlight and pressure at such a young age and compared her rapid rise at the age to his slower ascent to the top of tennis.
While 15-year-old Gauff – who was beaten in the third round of the US Open by world No. 1 Naomi Osaka – has already experienced some of the biggest stages in the tennis world, a young Federer was developing away from the spotlight.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who will face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, believes he would not have been able to cope physically as Gauff has been able to, but also welcomed the chance to grow his game without such intense scrutiny.
Federer said after beating David Goffin 6-2 6-2 6-0: I was a boy. I was a child. What do you do there? You complain. You shout. You dont do any media thankfully. I dont know. I was a silly, good boy. I was an honest kid to my parents. My coaches I think always liked me because they thought that I would improve quickly, but also I would be sometimes difficult but in the right way.
I always had a good time on the road, to be honest. I think it really made me tough. When I left home at 14 for two years, stayed with a family from Monday to Friday for two years, was incredibly homesick.
After 16 I felt like those – still looking back, those were the two most important years of my life. I really learned how to be independent.
That is the part that I really needed, to feel like I could live alone, I could just cope on my own, going on the train, tram, bus, bike, almost manage my life by myself.
That was young still, I thought. For me to see Coco at 15, okay, shes got a team, support team and all that stuff. Just the way she handles pressure, being out on the court, we forget its not routine to be in front of 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, and facing the pressure. Thats what I mean.
Could I have handled it? Maybe. Obviously my game was not even close. I would have been playinRead More – Source