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Coco Gauff’s eyes ‘always wander’ to Rafael Nadal on tennis practice courts

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Coco Gauff will be sad to see Rafael Nadal bow out of professional tennis.

Coco Gauff has admitted that her eyes ‘always wander’ to Rafael Nadal on the practice courts. The US tennis star has revealed that she is a huge fan of the Spaniard, whose impending retirement she concedes is yet to sink in.

Nadal has previously suggested that he wants to retire at the end of the 2024 season. His imminent exit from professional tennis has come as a blow to younger players who look up to the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

Gauff said that Nadal’s retirement will feel ‘weird’, especially as the 37-year-old has won the French Open for much of the past 15 years. Asked how she feels about her idol stepping away, the 20-year-old said: “Yeah, honestly, it’s very weird for me as a fan to come to terms with, just because the majority of my life he’s been the Roland Garros winner. Yeah, I guess it’s now hitting.

“I think I was in Madrid. It didn’t really hit that he was retiring yet. Now when I saw them do the little ceremony after, I was like this is real life, this is for real.”

Gauff says that she would often zone out of her own training sessions to watch how Nadal prepares for his matches.

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