Coco Gauff: I am still learning to deal with the increased attention on me



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Coco Gauff: I am still learning to deal with the increased attention on me

American teen Coco Gauff says she is still learning to deal with the attention that comes with the rise in her public profile.

Coco Gauff on dealing with increased attention

The 16 year old has become one of the biggest stars in tennis over the past 12 months - starting with her dream run to the Wimbledon fourth round.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Gauff says, "I went from probably 30,000 followers [on social media] to 500,000 overnight, and definitely got a lot of recognition from really famous people all around the world. It's something I'm still not used to but definitely wasn't used to then."

Gauff says she may appear calm in difficult moments on court but says she does feel nervous inside, including when she defeated Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon last year. "I was really nervous - don't get me wrong - I didn't look nervous but I was nervous inside.

My parents always taught me to be calm in those moments and remember that pressure is a privilege. That's what I remembered during those moments." Gauff also spoke about the difficulties she faced while transitioning from the junior circuit to the pro tour and says she started winning more when she put her focus away from the numbers.

"I definitely feel pressure but not so much because of my past results, just because I always put pressure on myself on the court. Lately it's not been pressure to win but just pressure to have fun and make sure I play the right way.

I was experiencing this maybe just before Wimbledon happened because that's when I first transitioned onto the pro tour. I didn't really know what to expect or what to do, juniors and pros to me was a completely different experience, because you go from being number one junior to being not even ranked in the pros.

And it takes a lot to build your ranking up. When I let all of that go and didn't focus too much on numbers that was when Wimbledon happened and my results really went up. I think that time and that moment in my life definitely prepared me to have that breakout at Wimbledon."

Coco Gauff is currently ranked No.. 52 in the world. She reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and the third round of the US Open last year and the fourth round of the Australian Open this year.