Serena Williams’ ex-coach Rennae Stubbs recently spoke about the atmosphere in the Arthur Ashe stadium during Coco Gauff’s 2023 US Open final. She also touched upon the champion’s exceptional conduct.
Coco Gauff won her maiden Grand Slam on home soil by staging a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory against Aryna Sabalenka in the final.
The American received immense support from her home crowd throughout the battle. Her compatriots continued to cheer her on even when she was trailing in the match.
Rennae Stubbs, who coached Serena Williams during her final campaign before she retired at last year’s US Open, watched Gauff’s 2023 final live from the stadium. She compared the atmosphere to the thunderous reception Williams received in 2022.
“When Coco walked on the court, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I haven’t heard that scream since last year with Serena,'” she said in conversation with Caitlin Thompson on the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.
Stubbs spoke highly of Coco Gauff, praising her for being wise beyond her age. She also appreciated the 19-year-old for honoring Billie Jean King while receiving the prize money cheque.
It was King who championed equal prize money fifty years ago, which led to both men’s and women’s winners earning equally at the US Open.
“So, this kid is, I know I am using a lot of hyperbole here, but you will not meet a nicer kid. And I can call her kid, she is half my age, actually more than half my age,” the Aussie said.
“She is 19. But her poise, her ability to be able to understand the moment – even on the trophy stand, to say, ‘Billie, thank you for this’ for the 3-million-dollar prize money cheque that she got,” she continued.
Following her US Open victory, Coco Gauff credited Venus and Serena Williams for being the trailblazers and allowing Black players to believe in their dreams.
“They’re the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest. They have allowed me to believe in this dream, you know, growing up, there wasn’t too many just Black tennis players dominating the sport,” she told the media.
Rennae Stubbs praised Gauff for her consistent recognition of the legends who once dominated the women’s game.
“Everything about this young woman – she praises Venus and Serena. Every time she speaks, she says, ‘I wouldn’t be here without them.’ She’s just a credit to our sport,” the former player said on her podcast.
Recognizing Coco Gauff’s wisdom and superior qualities, Stubbs noted that the teenager is a force to be reckoned with.
“I’m so happy that she had this success, and I hope she keeps running with it, because there’s going to be no better top player in the world than Coco,” she said.