The days of Serena Williams dominating the women’s game is now a thing of the past but the American continues to play at the highest level having made three Grand Slam finals in the last 12 months. But the women’s game is beginning to see some new faces with Cori Gauff, the latest to make news after reaching the fourth round in Wimbledon at the age of 15.
The young American defeated Venus Williams along the way and former world No. 7 Barbara Schett believes she is part of the generation that will effect a change of guard in women’s tennis. But the change of guard has been taking place in recent years with nine different players winning the last 11 women’s singles Grand Slam titles.
Serena Williams last dominated the scene in 2015 when she won three major titles during the calendar year, but has since added just two titles despite making five finals. Schett has advised Gauff to take her time and not play too much despite all the sudden attention and believes the mental side will be more difficult than the physical aspect.
“I would advise her to not play too much, she can’t play more than 12 tournaments a year anyway at the moment, and focus on other things like school. I think it will be harder mentally rather than physically. Physically she seems very strong, fit and advanced for her age,” Schett said, as quoted in Tennis World USA. “Mentally, last week she could just walk down the street but now she can’t walk around Wimbledon Village without being noticed and that’s a big change.”
Williams and Maria Sharapova were the faces of the women’s game, but the likes of Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka have come to the forefront in recent years and Schett believes Gauff can be part of the same revolution. The Austrian believes Williams, arguably one of the greatest ever to play the game, still has two more years left in the sport, but the new generation is likely to take over sooner rather than later.
“There is no limits to what Cori can achieve in the game. There is going to be a changing of the guard on the women’s side, Serena Williams only has a couple of years left in the tank, Maria Sharapova is coming to the end,” she added.