Team “McCoco” Takes Down No. 9 Seed to Reach Quarterfinals of Women’s Doubles at US Open
(September 1, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Coco Gauff may have lost in the singles on Saturday night to No. 1 Naomi Osaka, but she still is in the doubles. Gauff, 15, and her doubles partner Caty McNally,17, winners of the Citi Open doubles title last month, were given a wild card into the US Open and have made good use of it.
They first played doubles together in Eastbourne. “We played a Maureen Connolly friendly match against the British players,” McNally said. “Me and Coco played together and we won, like, 6-1, 6-0, or I don’t know what it was. From there we knew we were super good and that something clicked. We decided to play last year here in the juniors. We played D.C. and here again. It’s only our third tournament.”
Team “McCoco” what they call themselves since they won the US Open Girls’ doubles title last year, scored an upset by knocking out the ninth seeds Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke 6-3, 7-6(9) in packed Louis Armstrong Stadium on late Saturday afternoon.
“I mean, I think so much stands out (from last year playing the girls draw). Last year playing in juniors we actually played a couple matches indoors so there was only about 20 people there maybe, ” Gauff said. “I mean, today we had a packed house on Louis Armstrong. So there is a huge difference.
“It makes a huge difference actually just to have that support, especially in those big moments, those tiebreakers, you have all those people supporting you. It helps so much.”
“The crowd was unreal today. I didn’t think it would be that many people at the match, to be honest. I mean, I knew we were on Armstrong, but I couldn’t see an empty seat and they were sold out and so supportive. I think that definitely helped us, especially when the pressure moments came.”
“What I like on court about Caty is she’s not afraid to take chances and risks,” said the 15-year-old.” Obviously she has really good hands, so it’s good to know you have someone at the net and she gets some unreal shots back. That’s cool.
“I like the way her and her coach Kevin banter with each other. It’s pretty funny, and I dig into it as well. Caty is really funny and I really like her.”
“I think for us, like, playing on Louis Armstrong with a packed crowd, it makes us want to go out there and play again so badly,” said McNally. “I could go out right now again and play because it was so much fun and such an awesome atmosphere to play in.”
Next for the teen team will be the eight seed Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka. Barty won the US Open doubles title last year with CoCo Vandeweghe.
“I didn’t even know that we played them until now,” admitted McNally. “I mean, we’ll probably just enjoy this moment for now and worry about that later. But obviously they’re both very accomplished players in singles and they have been doing really well in doubles. I’m just really looking forward to going out there and playing.”
No longer juniors, they are happy to be pros now. “I’m just super thankful to be in the pros now,” said McNally. “The juniors is obviously a great steppingstone and we learned a lot. We got to play on the big stages, which I think helped us now, but I’m super thankful to be out of that stage and playing in the pros.”
“I think I wouldn’t regret or change anything different,” Gauff added. “I think juniors is great. But I’m glad obviously to be playing here on the pro stage and playing in front of Armstrong, but I think that definitely last year doubles and us playing juniors helped prepare us for this year.
“So I think it’s just all like a constant ladder that we are constantly trying to climb and get better.”