The Atlanta-born star also draws her own inspiration from closer to home. Her grandmother survived cancer, and Gauff says watching that battle, and the positive mindset with which her grandmother approached it, was a learning experience.
“I think your mind kind of controls everything. Your mind controls, you know, how your body feels and how your mood is,” she explains.
“One of the things I learned growing up, my grandmother she had lung cancer when I was younger, and now she’s cancer free, but I just remember her never being too negative about it, and her always being positive.”
Although she will only turn 18 in March, Gauff is already treading her own path as a role model for others. She spoke out during the protests following the murder of George Floyd and believes in using her position to inspire change.
“For me, I just feel like it’s not so much of responsibility, I feel like that’s just me, and that’s like my identity,” she told Anderson.
“I want to stand up for people who look like me and feel like they don’t have a voice. And I’m lucky enough that some people in the world care about what I have to say. So I try to make sure that I say it and say in a correct way, or in a way that people understand.”
She says she is mindful of setting an example to her two younger brothers. “I would say I just kind of try to hold myself to what I want my brothers to be, [and be] a role model for my brothers.”