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Coco Gauff-Iga Swiatek Rivalry Makes Fans Remember Serena Williams; Here’s Why

Tanmay Roy

Coco Gauff-Iga Swiatek Rivalry Makes Fans Remember Serena Williams; Here's Why

At the Italian Open 2024, Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek clashed in the semifinals and it was the 11th time they played against each other in their careers. The Gauff vs Swiatek rivalry is being touted to take the sport forward. However, upon closer inspection of their head-to-head, it is quite evident that their rivalry isn’t as neck-to-neck as it is made out. This is quite similar to when Maria Sharapova was pitted against Serena Williams in the 2000s.

Swiatek has won 10 out of her 11 matches against Gauff (as per WTA Tour statistics) and most of them have seen the Polish star dominate. A tweet by a tennis fan talked about the comparisons between the Swiatek-Gauff and Serena-Sharapova rivalries recently.

Iga Swiatek won the Italian Open semi-final, 6-4, 6-3. This kind of media frenzy was the same when Maria Sharapova played against Serena Williams from the mid-noughties to the late 2010s. However, in their head-to-head, Williams won 20 out of their 22 encounters.

But many fans believe that Coco Gauff has age on her side and with experience, she could turn around the fate of her rivalry against Iga Swiatek.

The reason behind the media hoopla of the Serena-Sharapova rivalry back then was due to their 2004 Wimbledon Final. In what was widely considered as an upset by many, Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4, and won her first-ever Grand Slam title. The tennis world went abuzz with the birth of a new WTA star. The media also found not one, but two bankable, high-profile WTA stars.

Sharapova is also attractive, glamorous, and popular, just like Serena Williams. This made both of them a marketer’s delight for brand endorsements. Their rivalry was thus immortalized. But in reality, Serena Williams was no match for Sharapova, beating her in almost every instance she got after that. 19 of her 20 victories came in a row.

Therefore, the comparison stands true, since Coco Gauff could be the Maria Sharapova of this generation. Her rival Iga Swiatek is Serena Williams, who has been world number 1 for a long time now and is consistently winning tournaments and breaking records.

But also, in a more obvious sense, Coco Gauff has been labeled as the next Serena Williams for quite some time now. Ever since Gauff’s 2023 US Open win, American media tabloids have run innumerable comparisons between her and Serena Wiliams. The fact that they are both African-American players pursuing tennis and breaking stereotypes and glass ceilings also had a major part in these comparisons. On top of that, Gauff idolizes Serena Williams, as he confessed on multiple occasions.

However, experts believe that Coco Gauff has a very long way to go before she can reach anywhere near Williams’ achievements. She has to improve her skillset, be much more consistent, avoid injuries, strengthen up, and work on her forehand and backhand. Coach Brad Gilbert has a ton of work to do with her.

How Does Iga Swiatek – Coco Gauff Match Up to Serena Williams – Maria Sharapova in All Aspects?

After her 2004 Wimbledon win, Maria Sharapova won the next match also at the WTA Championships. Sharapova beat Serena Williams 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the final again, and gave tennis enthusiasts hope. At the time, Sharapova took a 2-1 lead over Williams and the world thought they found a match for Williams. Little did anyone know that Williams would then have a 19-match unbeaten streak over Sharapova.

Similar to them, Coco Gauff last beat Iga Swiatek 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4 in the semi-final of the 2023 Cincinnati Open. It was 2-1 on Swiatek’s side in their head-to-head then. The 20-year-old American has never won after that.

Even in the recent semi-final clash, Gauff didn’t stand a chance to win at any point in time. Gauff is still young and full of promises. But her losses in the semi-finals and finals are starting to hurt her. She will have to work on any frailties and overcome that last hurdle if she wants to be more like Serena Williams than Maria Sharapova.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy


Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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