Published On: Sat, Aug 31st, 2019

John McEnroe reveals why Coco Gauff beating Naomi Osaka would be bad for tennis | Tennis | Sport

Gauff shot to fame at Wimbledon after the 15-year-old teen sensation defeated Venus Williams in the first round.

Since then, she has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon backed to be the future of women’s tennis.

And she has continued that progress at the US Open, advancing to the third round with wins over Timea Babos and Anastasia Potapova.

But Gauff faces her toughest test yet against world No 1 Osaka for a place in the fourth round.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium is expected to be jam-packed to watch the contest this evening, with Gauff likely to receive the majority of the support.

But McEnroe believes a win for Gauff could end up being too much too soon for the teenager to cope with.

“I hope Coco Gauff loses tomorrow, personally,” McEnroe told ESPN.

“I actually think it would be bad for the sport of tennis if the defending champion who is struggling – I know she’s got a knee issue – but that would be devastating to her and she’s the one we were talking about last year like Coco Gauff – if Coco Gauff at 15 can beat the defending champion, break down the defending champion…

“In my opinion, too much too soon, less is more… hopefully her parents are taking it slow because to me in four or five years, she’s going to be world No. 1.

“What are the odds of her being able to – if she were hypothetically to win a US Open – be able to maintain something like that with all the expectations that were put on her and everything that comes with that? I’d say like a million to one.

“I’m sorry. I remember when I got to the Wimbledon semis when I was 18, I was happy I lost to [Jimmy] Connors.

“It gave me a chance to reflect, look back, go to Stamford for a year, prepare myself for the pro tour – the best thing I ever did for my personal career.

“I’m just saying. She shouldn’t be as good as Osaka yet at 15.”

But McEnroe wouldn’t be surprised if the American teen did overcome the reigning US Open champion.

“I think she’s got a good shot,” he added.

“Osaka is hurt and mentally she fired her coach after winning two Slams.

“To me, she’s got a real chance.”

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