Coco Gauff sounds off on Miami Open's 'weird' move

Gauff survived a rain-plagued Friday at the Miami Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff sounds off on Miami Open's 'weird' move
© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

Coco Gauff was pleased with how she responded when she was finally given the green light to enter the court but also made it clear that she found the Miami Open's "unrealistic not before" times as "weird."

On Friday, No. 3 seed Gauff was scheduled to take on qualifier Nadia Podoroska in the opening match at Stadium 1. But because rain was falling, the American tennis star couldn't start her Miami match as scheduled at 11 am.

For Friday, Miami's weather forecast didn't look promising at all and some feared there wouldn't be any action for the day. But the Miami organizers kept hoping dark clouds would go away and they kept pushing back the start of play for approximately an hour. 

At 5 pm local time - after hours of waiting in the players' lounge and hoping for the best - the play finally started and Gauff and Podoroska got to the court. When the match finally started, Gauff was al business as she destroyed Podoroska 6-1 6-2 to reach the Miami third round. 

"Yeah, so I came as normal schedule, even I knew it was going to rain. Shortened my warm-up before I hit so I could get a chance to hit. I did hit 15 minutes at, like, 9 in the morning. Don't know if that made a difference because we played so much later," Gauff said.

"Yeah, I was just waiting around, talked to some folks, played some games, read. It felt like a long wait. I was kind of not sure when to eat. Also the tournament was giving us unrealistic 'not before' times, so that felt a little bit weird, too."

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Megan Briggs

Gauff on getting the job done against Podoroska in tricky circumstances 

After both players held to their opening service games, Gauff turned into another gear and claimed back-to-back breaks in the fourth and sixth games to open a comfortable 5-1 lead. With Gauff serving for the first set in the seventh game, Podoroska had her first break point of the match but the No. 3 seed saved it before converting her third set point to seal the opener.

Up by a set, Gauff also broke Podoroska in the opening game of the second set and saved two consecutive break points in the following game to take a 2-0 second-set lead. Gauff then broke Podoroska again in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead before converting her fifth match in the following game on her serve. 

"I was most pleased with just starting the match well 'cause when you come out and it's a long wait, you never know how you're going to start," Gauff said.

"But, yeah, then obviously those break points I saved, I think I saved one earlier in the match, a bunch at the end. Yeah, honestly it just felt, the match, fast. I'm glad I honestly finished before it rained. I think it's raining right now so I'm just happy to get out of here."

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

Gauff admits in the last game she was keen on putting a curtain on the match

When asked if Miami's weather forecast made her enter the match thinking that she would need to get the job as soon as possible, Gauff said that wasn't the case. But when serving for the match at 5-2 in the second set and seeing dark clouds in the sky, Gauff's thinking changed and that's when she started thinking that she really needed to get this done as soon as possible. 

In the eighth game of the second set, Gauff experienced some difficulty while serving for the match as she saved two break points before finally realizing her fifth match to complete a two-set win in an hour and 17 minutes of play.

"Just playing the match. I mean, you can't control the weather. Honestly, it was looking so promising when I stepped on the court. I was like, 'Maybe it won't rain again today,'" Gauff said.

"I didn't really think about trying to finish until the last game of the match when I kind of saw it getting darker, then they turned on the lights, the temperature dropped. I'm from here, so I know that's like rain coming any second.

"That's when I thought about the weather. It was like, 'Okay, let's get it done.' Especially a match like this where you're so close to finishing.

"I honestly didn't want to come out here tomorrow where it's supposed to rain and wait all day again to play. 'I was like, Let me try to get it done as quick as possible.'"

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

In her next match, Gauff plays against world No. 84 Oceane Dodin. Gauff has never played against Dodin before but she will undoubtedly enter the match as the huge favorite.

Coco Gauff Miami Open