WATCH: Chris Eubanks discusses his friendship with Gauff on Tennis Channel Live.


American women's tennis has had no shortage of standout players and personalities. Since the inception of the WTA, the largest contingent of the sport's most dynamic athletes have represented the USA, a tradition that very much continues to this day.

There are nine Americans in the top 50, and the talent pool remains deep for the foreseeable future. But there's just something uniquely special about each of the guests on this week's episode of the Podcast with Kamau Murray. Coco Gauff is the fastest emerging superstar in tennis, and quite possibly all of sports. Danielle Collins crashed the party from the outside, reaching the top ten and a major final from a path that seldom have taken. Their games are scintillating, and their competitive drives are almost unmatched by their peers.

And they joined the podcast to explain what pushes them to strive for greatness, how they handle the pressures at the top, and what they do to decompress when they leave the court.

The world might just be Coco Gauff's oyster. A seasoned pro at age 18, it's been a steady climb for the most impressive young prospect the game has seen in quite some time.

But it wasn't always easy, and each time the young Florida native leveled up it got significantly harder than it appeared to those watching. In 2022 she made her biggest leap yet, advancing to the Roland Garros Final.

The difference, she explained, was not focusing on the final destination and instead enjoying the journey.

"I was just focusing on the point in front of me. And I think that put a lot less pressure on myself," Gauff reflected.

Last year she advanced to the quarterfinals in Paris, and like the poised pro that she is, understood it required greater focus to keep going. "I still didn't reach the finish line in the end. But next time I think I'll learn from it."

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Gauff is certainly ahead of her years as a talent in tennis, the youngest player in the top 70 with some of the most consistent results produced this season. Mentally she's also advanced for her age, with a champions' mindset and professional approach that is clear from the moment you're in her presence.

She's knows the task at hand, and is certainly not intimidated by those in her way, whether they be seasoned champions or outright legends. And it's no secret where that foundation came from.

"If anybody spoke to my dad, you can see where that mentality is," Gauff reflected with a huge grin.

Her father Corey taught her to play the ball not the opponent, to show respect but never weakness. Should Gauff need any help raising her level, she has one tried and true method.

"You just got to try to pretend that you're playing against somebody that you hate on the court. Not really a tennis player, it could be a person."

Coco Gauff & Kamau Murray

Coco Gauff & Kamau Murray


The second interview on this week's episode is with the truly one-of-a-kind Danielle Collins. Collins did not grow up with some of the handouts others have received en route to tennis stardom, yet here she is anyway. She's unapologetically brash and ferocious, and she cemented her status in the game in 2022.

She reached the Australian Open Final and cracked the Top 10 in the rankings, while remarkably only playing 11 tournaments in total. It was a groundbreaking year on the court, and one of self-discovery off of it.

"While other people might be doing things certain ways, that might not be for me," Collins said in reference to her lighter schedule. "I feel like I'm just better mentally, but also better with my game when I have more time to train, to get back on the practice courts to try to work on things technically and tactically."

Danielle Collins & Kamau Murray

Danielle Collins & Kamau Murray

When Collins does return, she does so with force and intensity much deserving of her "Danimal" nickname. Murray refers to her as instant oatmeal, a rare individual who can show up without rust to play at a high level against the very best. Collins understands she's ingrained with competitive DNA, but also believes it's a requirement of the profession she's entered.

"If you're not competitve, how are you going to get the highest level?" she asked rhetorically.

Collins feels at home on the tennis court because she can be her true self, which includes the ability to talk and banter when working to get better.

"My dad tried to get me into swimming in the beginning, and I felt like I couldn't do that in swimming. Like in tennis, there's so much more conversation that takes place and I love that."

The Podcast is always appointment listening, but this episode will hit your ears differently. Listen as Coco Gauff discusses all that went into her signature New Balance shoe, and which celebrity she dreams of one day meeting.

And I promise, you've never heard Danielle Collins as open about what she likes to do off the court, from her favorite hobbies to her home development project. These two dynamic Americans are leading the charge for their sport, and this show will pull the curtain back and reveal that there is much more about each than meets the eye.