From Neymar to Cristiano Ronaldo, Coco Gauff, Victoria Azarenka and others name their favourite non-tennis athletes
Top WTA players, including Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur, Coco Gauff, Victoria Azarenka, and Belinda Bencic, recently talked about their favorite non-tennis athletes. Most interviewees had to take a moment to think and said that the question was a "tough one."
In a video posted by WTA's official social media account, World No. 2 Sabalenka named Michael Jordan as her favorite non-tennis athlete. Jordan was also named by American doubles player Nicole Melichar-Martinez, who also said that she is a big ice hockey fan and loves Czech professional Jaromir Jagr.
Many players chose soccer stars, with Ons Jabeur and Paula Badosa naming Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, respectively. Victoria Azarenka chose Lionel Messi. The Belarusian also said that she has never met the Argentinian legend and would probably be speechless if she ever came face to face with him.
"I never really met him and I don't know if I want to because I'll probably won't be able to speak," Azarenka said.
Azarenka also named the late basketball icon Kobe Bryant as one of the athletes she used to admire.
The video also featured Shelby Rogers, who selected Canadian ice hockey professional Steven Stamkos and Olympic gold medalist hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin.
American No. 1 Coco Gauff went with basketball great LeBron James and Olympic gold medalist gymnast Simone Biles. The 19-year-old revealed that she once hoped to become a gymnast like Biles but realized that she was not equipped for it.
"I used to want to be a gymnast, obviously if anybody see me in person, not cut out for that," Gauff said.
Belinda Bencic chose fellow Swiss athlete Marco Odermatt, an Alpine skier, as her favorite non-tennis athlete.
Coco Gauff eliminated from 2023 French Open by Iga Swiatek in the quarterfinals
World No. 6 Coco Gauff was defending finals points at the 2023 French Open. However, the young American lost out to defending champion Iga Swiatek in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-2. Gauff lost to Swiatek in last year's Roland Garros final as well and has not taken a set off the Pole in any of her seven matches against her.
Gauff started her French Open campaign with a hard-fought three-set win against Rebeka Masarova in the first round. Since then, she only lost one set, against Mirra Andreeva in the third round.
The 19-year-old American was expected to put up a strong performance against Swiatek this time around and went toe-to-toe in the first set. However, Gauff lost her serve at 5-4 and handed Swiatek the lead. In the second set, Swiatek ran the table, breaking Gauff twice and booking her place in the semifinal against Beatriz Haddad Maia.