Coco Gauff famously took aim at her haters after winning the US Open, but those naysayers have been proven wrong with Chris Eubanks saying the sky is now the limit for the teenager.
Having made her breakthrough in 2019 after becoming the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon at the age of 15 years and three months, Gauff made steady progress over the next few seasons before finally taking the big step up in 2023.
After winning a host of impressive titles during the North American hard-court season, Gauff ticked off the Grand Slam from her to-win list as she defeated Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open final.
During her winners’ speech at the trophy presentation ceremony, the American hit back at her critics, saying: “To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it. And now I’m really burning so bright right now.”
World No 34 Eubanks feels Gauff has silenced her doubters, although he concedes there will still be people who will question her.
“She has finally proved the naysayers wrong, some said that she would never win a Grand Slam. She’s been able to do that, now it’s about how many she will get,” he said on the Tennis Channel.
“So there’s still going to be outside expectations, there’s still going to be people saying that she can never get more than one or the people doubting the validity of the US Open run.”
He added: “It doesn’t matter at this point. In her team and in her mind, she has done what she has done, now let’s just continue to enjoy this process let’s just continue to put in the work that got her to this point.”
Gauff finished the year at a career-high No 3 in the WTA Rankings while she also won her maiden WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Masters, her first WTA 500 trophy at the Citi Open as well as the WTA 250 Auckland Classic.
So what is next for Gauff?
Eubanks said: “I think the sky’s the limit. We have seen players before who kinda get their run and we’ve seen Iga be so dominant on clay. She has also done well on hard courts, not so much on grass. We’ve seen players who have favourite surfaces or maybe struggle on other times.
“But not her, she can play on any surface. She can play against any opponent, in any condition, so that poses the opportunity for her to win a lot of more tournaments and the sky’s the limit.”