Coco Gauff Wins First Round Qualifying Match at Citi Open
(July 27, 2019) WASHINGTON, DC – World No. 143 Coco Gauff advanced to the final round of the qualifying tournament at the Citi Open at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon with a 6-4, 6-2 over No. 338 Maegan Manasse also from the U.S.
Gauff gained an early break to go up 2-0 and was immediately broken right back. Gauff contributed to the break with a pair of double faults.
Forward to the tenth game of the set when Gauff regained her advantage breaking serve to win the first set 6-4.
Gauff started the first set as she started the second set jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Gauff kept the pressure on and forced a second break to close out the match 6-4, 6-2.
“Gauff came to the tournament not even sure she would make it into the qualifying. Gauff, the top seed the qualifying tournament, will face No. 8 seed Hiroko Kuwata of Japan, for a place in the main draw.
If Gauff had not made it into the qualifying, she would have practiced at the site and played an exhibition match.
Although not the biggest court she’s ever played on as a pro, still to play on the Stadium for a first round qualifying match was special.
“The court I played on is definitely bigger than the first round of my (Wimbledon) qualifying match. Lots more people watching me, definitely a lot more supporters, she said in her news conference.
“I just think it’s crazy how just literally maybe four weeks ago that not many people were watching (Wimbledon). It’s crazy that not many people knew my name and now a lot of people do.”
Gauff talked about what it felt like to be on court. “It felt great,” she said to media. “I’d never been to this tournament before. I’m loving it so far, the crowd was amazing. The court was amazing, everything was great.”
“I thought I served pretty well today. I felt good out there.”
For once, Gauff was playing as the favorite, which was strange for her.
“I wasn’t thinking about rankings or numbers on court, “Gauff said. “I was just focused on the game. I didn’t know her ranking, I barely know mine, so I knew I was the top seed but other than that, I don’t really focus on numbers, I just try to play the game, whether you are the lower ranked person of the higher ranked person, you still have to win.”
“She was playing very well,” Gauff said of her opponent. “Honestly I was just staying with her, pulling out of that last game (of the first set).”
“A couple of tight games here and there.” “I think we both played well.”
If Gauff wins her next match it will be her third main draw of a WTA tournament, the others were the Miami Open and of course Wimbledon, where she beat Venus Williams in the first round and advanced to the round of 16, falling to the champion, Simona Halep.
Gauff was the youngest woman to reach the second week of a major since Anna Kournikova at the 1996 US Open, and the youngest woman to do it at Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati in 1991.
Gauff is still dealing with her fame. ” I’m still getting used to it, I don’t know when I’ll get used to it, don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. I’m super grateful for all of the people who are cheering for me and I try my best to sign and take pictures for everyone because I remember when I was younger how much that meant to me, especially the kids. It means a lot to somebody. I know when I was younger, it meant a lot to me.”