The father for tennis star Coco Gauff said the 16-year-old was never diagnosed with depression after she used the word "depressed" to describe her state of mind earlier in her career.
"That's the thing that was alarming, and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up," Corey Gauff said in an interview with the New York Times' Christopher Clarey. "She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression."
In a post for Behind The Racquet, Gauff opened up about how achieving a level of stardom so early provided her with some difficulties away from the court:
"Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn't want. It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Once I let that all go, that when I started to have the results I wanted. Right before Wimbledon, going back to around 2017/18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results so that wasn't the issue, I just found myself not enjoying what I loved. ... For about a year I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far. Even though I had, it felt like there weren’t many friends there for me. When you are in that dark mindset you don’t look on the bright side of things too often, which is the hardest part."
Noah Rubin conducted the interview with Gauff for Behind The Racquet and told Clarey he should've probed further when she said she was feeling depressed. Rubin noted people can use the term in more general terms without referring to a clinical diagnosis or treatment plan.
Then 15, Gauff was the youngest player to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw when she competed in the 2019 event. She then reached the fourth round, where she lost to seventh-seeded Simona Halep in straight sets.
Gauff's momentum continued into the summer as she advanced to the third round of the 2019 U.S. Open before falling to top-seeded Naomi Osaka.
Big things appeared to be ahead for Gauff to start the 2020 season after she upset Osaka in the third round of the Australian Open.
However, both the WTA and ATP suspended play indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All tournaments remain on hold through at least June 7, with Wimbledon officials already taking the step of canceling this year's event.