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Nigerian Star Khadijat Muhammad aims to follow in Gauff’s Footsteps

Khadijat Muhammad

Fatimah Idera

Nigerian tennis Khadijat Muhammad has her sights set on emulating the success of her idol, American star Coco Gauff.

The top seed at the ongoing National Tennis Juniors Tournament in Lagos has openly admired Gauff’s talent and dedication.

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She confided that Gauff is her role model, praising her ability to overcome setbacks and return to the court stronger.

Muhammad is committed to her own development and aspires to climb the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rankings. Following her first-round victory over Sumisola Okajare, she emphasized her desire for intensive training to improve her game and reach the level of her idol.

Coco Gauff, a tennis prodigy in her own right, has already carved her name in tennis history. Her professional career began in 2019, with a teenage Gauff making a stunning Wimbledon debut. She became the youngest player ever to qualify for the main draw and shocked the world by defeating tennis legend Venus Williams.

Gauff’s talent quickly translated to trophies. She secured her first WTA Tour singles title in 2019 and continued to dominate, reaching major finals in both singles and doubles competition. The year 2023 marked a turning point, with Gauff conquering the prestigious Cincinnati Masters and achieving her ultimate goal – a Grand Slam singles title at the US Open.

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Khadijat Muhammad, inspired by Gauff’s journey, is determined to carve her path in the sport. With dedication and hard work, this young Nigerian talent might just be the next name to watch on the world tennis stage.

“Coco Gauf is my mentor because she was a very good and nice player, even though she had a very great fall and went for a medical break she had to come back and play as this was tough and challenging,” she said after defeating Sumisola Okajare in her first game.

“I plan to play more harder and faster to get more points at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to strive till I reach my mentor’s level,” Khadijat narrated.

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