Wise beyond her 18 years, Gauff has found that the key to her success has been keeping her achievements in perspective whenever the wins have started to pile up in Paris.
A Roland-Garros girls' champion in 2018, the American exploded onto the global tennis scene a year later as a 15-year-old with a breakthrough fourth-round result at Wimbledon. She has been on a steady climb since, peaking at No.15 in the WTA rankings and winning two trophies on the indoor hardcourts in Linz and clay courts in Parma.
But along with growing up (she just turned 18 in March) and maturing into a regular threat on the women’s tour, has come the realisation that tennis is in fact just a game. A game that has since become her profession, one that pays her generously and gives her a platform, sure – but a game nonetheless.
“I feel like I put myself in a bubble to the point where it was like tennis, tennis, tennis, tennis,” Gauff reflected. “And I realise, really talking to my family in general, my grandmother, she's always like, ‘There's more to life than this. You just need to relax when you're out there’.
“I always brushed it over, like, ‘You can't relax in these situations’. Now I look at it, I'm like, ‘You're right, I can relax in these situations. It's just a tennis match… Whatever happens, it happens’. I think that's probably helped me being in that mindset.”