“Using sport as a platform is important, it’s about influencing people”

Coco Gauff, 18, and Iga Swiatek, 21, are role models not only for budding tennis players, but also for many young people around the world. On separate occasions over the past two days, the two have used their voices to deliver important social messages, and the teenager believes that’s the need of the hour.

During his on-court speech after winning the French Open final against Gauff, Swiatek sent a message of solidarity for the victims of the war in Ukraine. Earlier, after his semi-final win, Gauff did something similar, speaking out against gun violence in the United States.

The American teenager believes that sports is an important platform to attract people from all over the world, given the huge number of athletes who follow.

Speaking at a press conference after the Roland Garros final, Coco Gauff shared her views on the matter.

“I think in general I think it’s important to use sport as a platform. I feel like I don’t know how many people are watching the final or how many people are watching my game from semi-final, but I’m sure it’s in the hundreds of thousands, so the post has reached that many people. Between all the retweets and all of that, it’s reaching even more people,” Gauff said, when asked about his actions and those of Swiatek.

After taking part in the biggest match of her career, Coco Gauff wrote “End gun violence” on the camera 🙌 https://t.co/7O0avmtq1C

Gauff admitted that a lot wouldn’t change with a message, but at the same time she aims to use her influential voice to appeal to those who can take action against the injustice happening in the world.

“I think it’s important that we mention these things. You know, I’ve even seen messages, Oh, writing something isn’t going to end it. I agree. It’s not about writing a message just to end it, it’s not going to stop me right there, I agree,” Gauff said, adding, “But for me, it’s about influencing people. people and influencing current leaders and leaders around the world perhaps to hear this message.”

The teenager further praised Swiatek for delivering a message about the war in Ukraine despite going through a wide range of emotions after winning a Grand Slam tournament.

“I wouldn’t say anything if I didn’t think it was going to influence anybody. Also with Iga, I think it’s wonderful that she brought that up in her speech. I mean, there’s so much emotions during the awards show, so for her to talk about that, I thought that was really kind and thoughtful of her,” Gauff said.

“Super proud of me” – Coco Gauff on her unforgettable Roland-Garros 2022 campaign

Coco Gauff in action during the French Open 2022
Coco Gauff in action during the French Open 2022

Despite being outplayed in the final, Coco Gauff made a big statement with her performances throughout the 2022 French Open. She didn’t drop a set in her six matches before the final, beating de great players along the way.

Gauff is proud of her campaign and has vowed to come back even stronger after learning from the experience.

“Yeah, I’m super proud of myself. I’m feeling a lot of emotions right now. A mixture of happiness and sadness. I’m going to enjoy this experience and hope to learn from it and improve,” said Gauff.

The 18-year-old still has a chance to win silverware at Roland Garros. Gauff and fellow American Jessica Pegula will play the women’s doubles final against French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic on Sunday.

This is Coco Gauff’s second appearance in a Grand Slam doubles final. At the 2021 US Open, Gauff teamed up with Caty McNally and reached the final, failing at the final hurdle. She hopes to have the third chance at a Grand Slam (singles/doubles) final on Sunday.

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