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Martina Navratilova: 'Coco Gauff can change the world'

:Headline: Martina Navratilova: 'Coco Gauff can change the world': ID:404808: from db_amp
The 16-year-old American delivered a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter demonstration last month.

Martina Navratilova insists rising tennis star Coco Gauff has the ability to "change the world for the better" after the American delivered a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter demonstration last month.

Gauff shot to prominence at Wimbledon last year when she beat Venus Williams en route to the last 16 at the age of 15, before claiming her maiden WTA title in October.

Now 16, Gauff spoke at a peaceful protest in her home city of Delray Beach last month, and 18-time grand slam winner Navratilova was full of praise for her, saying her actions show that tennis is still "at the forefront of social change".

Navratilova told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "She's just so poised on and off the court. She was just really brought up with great qualities and it shows how she plays, it shows how she's active now politically.

"I smile so much when I see the reach that she already has now and she will have in the future.

"She's one of those people that can change the world for the better and she seems to want to do that.

"I think the way things are going now, with some countries making great progress and some countries, like ours here in America – in my opinion – going backwards in time, I think it's essential that people get involved.

"Because I think they're seeing how much politics can affect their lives and their freedoms.

Coco Gauff impressed at Wimbledon last year (Steven Paston/PA)

"Sport has always been at the forefront of social change and now it can be that again with Black Lives Matter and just equality for all.

"Tennis has had its share of obstacles but I think overall we've been at the forefront of social change and it seems like now with Coco Gauff leading the charge, we're still there."

Navratilova, who won nine of her grand slam singles titles at Wimbledon, spoke about missing the event, which would have been taking place at the moment had it not been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She added: "It's the only major that I have not missed since '73, since I started playing.

"It's sad. I've spent over three years of my life in the UK and love it there. And it's such a lovely time of the summer anyway.

Martina Navratilova enjoyed huge success at Wimbledon during her career (PA)

"And then you get to play tennis, watch tennis and talk about tennis.

"In the history of the sport, anybody that was a giant of the sport played there so you just feel those ghosts, you feel that magic of the giants of the game.

"They were all there at one time or another so you're kind of connected when you're there. I miss all of it."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea392061370571366
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Everton401411154858-1053
12Southampton38157165160-952
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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