Corey Gauff, the father and coach of teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff, said Sunday that his daughter sometimes struggled with the pressure of her meteoric rise, but never was diagnosed with depression.
In a post Gauff wrote for Behind The Racquet last week, the 16-year-old said she had a “dark mindset” before Wimbledon last summer and considered taking a year off to focus on life.
“I just found myself not enjoying what I loved,” Gauff wrote. “I realized I needed to start playing for myself and not other people. For about a year, I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far.”
In a telephone interview after the article appeared, Corey Gauff told the New York Times that depression was not the proper characterization of his daughter’s issues.
“That’s the thing that was alarming, and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up,” Corey Gauff said. “She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression.”
Coco Gauff made a remarkable splash on the professional tennis circuit.
Last summer, she became the youngest player in history to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon and has been on a steady rise ever since: making it to the fourth round at the All England Club, earning a third-round appearance at the US Open, and winning her first singles titles at Linz as well as two doubles trophies with Caty McNally at Washington and Luxembourg.