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Coco Gauff Admits She Was ‘Really in a Dark Place’ After 2023 Wimbledon Loss

Coco Gauff Was in Really Dark Place After Wimbledon Loss Last Year
Robert Prange/Getty Images

Coco Gauff admitted that a surprising early loss at last year’s Wimbledon left her emotionally reeling for weeks.

Gauff, 20, was upset in the first round by fellow American Sofia Kenin in the 2023 major, which she reflected on before this year’s tournament.

“That was a tough moment for me,” Gauff said in her pre-Wimbledon press conference. “The first two or three weeks after that, I was really in a dark place. It was tough for me to realize that I still have so much time. When that happens, you just feel the weight of everything on you.”

She added, “I think I’ve grown a lot and I’ve used that moment to just try to get better. I know I’m nowhere near where I can be. That moment taught me that a bad moment doesn’t last forever.”

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Gauff proved that emphatically just a few months later in September 2023 when she won the U.S. Open women’s title, her first major championship. 

Coco Gauff Was in Really Dark Place After Wimbledon Loss Last Year
Coco Gauff plays at the Women’s Singles first round match of The 2023 Wimbledon Championships Julian Finney/Getty Images

When it comes to this year’s Wimbledon — which got underway Monday, July 1 — Gauff said she feels “really relaxed” and commented on the parity of the women’s field at the moment.

“There’s a lot of talent on the women’s tour,” she argued. “It’s anybody’s game. It gives you confidence, obviously, when you see the field isn’t stacked in a way where one player is dominating, or three players are dominating. Everybody has an equal shot and it’s just about who can perform better that week.”

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A year removed from her first-round Wimbledon exit, Gauff further explained how a recent off-the-court encounter with a young fan allowed her to feel more clear-headed when she’s competing. 

“Last week, I met a boy who was a fan of me and he was starting to get emotional and teary-eyed when he met me,” Gauff said. “It’s things and interactions like that that make you realize what you’re doing on the court does matter, whether you’re having the best time of your life and winning everything or whether you’re having a short, bad moment and losing.” 

It’s a busy summer season for Gauff — she’ll head to Paris to represent the United States in her Olympic debut directly after Wimbledon — but she’s managing to take it all in stride. 

“I’ve been trying to put myself in the mindset of just enjoying the experiences,” Gauff explained. “You’re only going to have your first Olympics once.”

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