John McEnroe makes bold claim about Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek – ‘It will be really hard for Coco to get close’

John McEnroe says he “expects big things” from Coco Gauff in the coming years – including winning more Grand Slams – but he believes she will struggle “to get close” to Iga Swiatek’s world No 1 ranking in the near future.

Swiatek has been the dominant player on the WTA Tour the past two years as she won three Grand Slams and spent nearly 90 weeks at No 1 in the WTA Rankings.

Although she faced stiffer challenges last year than in 2022 with Aryna Sabalenka replacing her at No 1 after the US Open in September, she pipped the Belarusian to the year-end No 1 ranking on the back of her superb unbeaten run at the WTA Finals.

Gauff, meanwhile, enjoyed an incredible second half of the season last year as she won her maiden Grand Slam, the 2023 US Open at Flushing Meadows after beating Sabalenka in the final. The teenager also won her first WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Open in August at the WTA 500 Citi DC Open.

Naturally, there has been talk about Gauff winning more Grand Slams and tennis great McEnroe is confident she will add more to her collection as he compared her to men’s world No 2 and two-time major winner Carlos Alcaraz in terms of their style of play.

“She [Gauff] is not as big as [Elena] Rybakina, [Aryna] Sabalenka, or [Iga] Swiatek, but she’s extremely athletic the way [Carlos] Alcaraz is. I expect her to win more majors,” the American told Eurosport.

“It can be done. She is in a good place mentally, and added pieces to her team recently like Brad Gilbert, who knows what it takes.

“I expect big things from her and she’s still young. Over the next 10 years I would be surprised if she doesn’t win a bunch of majors.”

However, when it comes to the No 1 ranking, McEnroe can’t look past Swiatek and fears Gauff “won’t get close any time soon”.

The commentator added: “Soon there will be more younger players to add to the mix. I think Swiatek has done a great job at keeping up her level for so long now so it will be really hard for Coco to get close to her ranking any time soon though.”

Both Swiatek and Gauff don’t have too many points to defend at this year’s Australian Open as they lost in the fourth round in 2023.

The duo are on opposite sides of the draw and can only meet in the final. Swiatek opens her campaign against former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin while Gauff takes on Anna Schmiedlova.

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