Coco Gauff makes funny Jelena Ostapenko clarification when calling out WTA 'cheaters'

Gauff had one hilarious moment during her Wimbledon first-round post-match press conference.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff makes funny Jelena Ostapenko clarification when calling out WTA 'cheaters'
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Coco Gauff revealed there are some players on the WTA Tour who like to do some sneaky stuff during practice sessions before hilariously telling reporters that no one should point any fingers at Jelena Ostapenko because the Latvian is not one of those "cheaters."

On Monday, No. 2 seed Gauff made a winning start to Wimbledon after destroying fellow American Caroline Dolehide 6-1 6-2. After the match, the top-ranked American female tennis player received one pretty interesting question as a reported wanted to know whether she ever played a practice match who cheated. 

Answering the question, 2023 US Open champion Gauff suggested that some would be surprised to know how many of players were prone to doing that. 

“I had a conversation with someone, I’m not gonna say who... We had a conversation about how some players on tour like to call the lines a little bit too much in practice. We were having a laugh out of that. There are some girls. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, that will do it," Gauff said. 

For me I don’t really take any offense. A lot of times it’s probably girls who were maybe cheaters in juniors and they just have that habit, most of the time I try to practice with people who don’t do that. I’m not gonna question the girl. I’m not gonna be like ‘Hey that was kind of in.’ I’ll just be like whatever and move on.”

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Gauff then hilariously clarifies: It's not Ostapenko

It is not a secret that Ostapenko is one of the biggest personalities on the WTA Tour and some players have even very openly made it clear that they didn't like the 2017 French Open champion very much. And when someone is calling out someone on the WTA Tour because of their behavior, Ostapenko is usually the first to come to people's minds.

And Gauff was seemingly very well aware of that so she underlined to the reporters that she wasn't taking any shots at Ostapenko. Instead, the American went on to praise the 27-year-old Latvian as one of the better practice partners.

“For me, if it’s close, it can be in or out. But there are people that will deliberately call the ball that’s like inside of the line. It’s not anyone you’d think. I know people are gonna think ‘Oh maybe it’s Ostapenko’ because she does that. But she’s actually one of my favorite people to practice with. She’s just funny. I think she genuinely thinks her ball is in but she doesn’t do it in practice. It’s definitely other people," Gauff added.

Gauff feeling 'relaxed' and way better than 12 months ago

Last year, the images of Gauff looking dejected during and after her Wimbledon first-round loss to Sofia Kenin went viral. But this time, the 20-year-old made a ruthless start to her Wimbledon run and she left the court all happy and smiling. 

And after demolishing Dolehide with just three lost games, Gauff didn't hide her happiness. 

"I definitely do feel a lot more relaxed going in now getting through. I think the first round is always the most difficult hump in the tournament, especially when you're a favorite coming in or like a top seed. I am happy to get through that hump," Gauff said.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

12 months ago, Gauff was one of the lowest points of her career after losing in the Wimbledon first round and hearing some ugly criticism. But after impressively bouncing back by winning the US Open and since then becoming way more consistent, Gauff believes she has matured a lot and ready for a deep Wimbledon run.

“I think I’ve just grown a lot. I’m glad I used that moment to just strive to get better. I still know I’m nowhere near where I can be. I think that experience taught me that a bad moment doesn't last forever," Gauff explained.

“That part of the season was tough, then the next part of the season was the best I’ve ever had. That just shows bad moments don’t last forever. I’m really relaxed going into this year. I did not have a great Wimbledon last year. It’s like it couldn’t get any worse, it can only get better.”

When Gauff hits the court again on Wednesday, the opponent standing on the other side of the net will be world No. 142 Anca Todoni. Todoni, who is 19 years old, made the Wimbledon main draw as a qualifier and she kicked off her Grand Slam debut with a 7-5 6-1 win over Olga Danilovic on Monday. 

While Todoni is having the run of her career, it doesn't change the fact that she will still enter the Gauf match as the huge underdog.

Coco Gauff Jelena Ostapenko Wimbledon