American teen Coco Gauff says she needs more experience and matches after her first round loss at the US Open on Monday. 16 year old Gauff, who reached the third round of the event last year, was beaten by the No. 31 seed Anastasija Sevastova in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
This marked the first time that Gauff has lost in the first round of a Grand Slam - in her previous three appearances in a Grand Slam main draw, she lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon and the third round of the US Open in 2019; and the third round of the Australian Open in January this year.
Coco Gauff says she still has a lot to learn after first round loss in New York
Speaking after her loss, Gauff said, "Just the beginning. I just got on tour a little over a year ago, so I still have a lot to learn and a long ways to go.
The main part that hurt was just getting matches under my belt, getting experience. That's what I need on tour. I'm playing against people older than me who have been in more situations, difficult situations, than I have. I think the biggest thing is I just need experience." Sevastova was very impressed with Gauff after the match and said she wished she was as good as the American at her age.
"I wish I would play like this when I was 16 years old. Great player. Nothing more to say. I think she maybe started a bit slower than me, but she was getting better as the match went on." Gauff refused to blame the lack of fans in the stadium for her loss and said she will continue working hard for the doubles event and the French Open.
“I compete just as hard with fans or not. I could have played better today. Just going to get back to work and get ready for the French Open." "Right now my plan is just to play as many tournaments as I can, to get matches under my belt.
I'm still in doubles here, so I'll be here hopefully till the end." One of her longer term goals is to also qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo next year. "That's the goal. Right now I'm just focused on the match ahead, just focusing on the moment now.
But obviously that's a goal, to qualify for the Olympics next year." Coco Gauff is paired with fellow American Caty McNally in the doubles event at the US Open. They will play Whitney Osuigwe/ Hailey Baptiste in the first round.