Cori Gauff reveals she drew inspiration from Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler after finding herself down by a set in her opening match at the French Open. Gauff, the 2022 French Open runner-up, made a slow start to her French Open first-round match as world No 71 Rebeka Masarova won the first set.
But Gauff, seeded at No 6, didn't panic as she easily recovered to beat Masarova 3-6 6-1 6-2. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat took a 3-0 lead over the Boston Celtics before the Celtics won three games in a row to force a Game 7 and come on the verge of becoming the first-ever NBA team to win a series from being 0-3 down.
Butler promised the Heat would be ready for Game 7 and he kept his word as he delivered a big performance and helped Miami reach the NBA Finals. “Honestly, today I told myself if Jimmy Butler didn’t freak out when they were up 3–0 and then all of a sudden it was 3-all, then I shouldn’t freak out from losing the first set,” Gauff said when asked by Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim.
Gauff drew inspiration from Butler in a big comeback
At the start of the 2023 season, Gauff destroyed Masarova 6-1 6-1 in the Auckland final. But at the French Open, Masarova came out playing much better and Gauff was made to work before clinching the win.
"It was a tough start. Rebeka played a great match, but I'm happy with how I was able to turn it around. The final, it's in the past. I had a bad game in the first set and a couple of break chances, so I knew I was going to be able to turn it around.
I just had to be aggressive on those moments. I felt like there were certain aspects of my game that I wasn't playing my best on, but I know I'm confident on the surface and in these conditions, and I think that's what I relied on today," Gauff said.
French Open goes to the Japanese Hisatsune
The French Open will be relocated in 2025
Tom Kim leads French Open after first round
Watch: Cori Gauff introduces Novak Djokovic
Two Pga Tour stars will be at the French Open
Serena Williams' ex-coach Rick Macci identifies what changed in Cori Gauff's game