Cori Gauff: 'I didn't want to be in the spotlight but Naomi was so nice'


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Cori Gauff: 'I didn't want to be in the spotlight but Naomi was so nice'

Finishing her junior career at the age of 14 at the end of 2018, super talented American Cori Gauff set the ultimate goal for the current season, to get into the top-100. With the age restrictions and the fact she was by far the youngest player in almost every draw she had entered, Cori made incredible progress through both WTA lists to wrap up the year in the top-80 on both singles and doubles charts at the age of 15.

It was quite a run for the young American in 2019, claiming her first WTA singles title in Linz as a lucky loser and lifting two doubles trophies as well with Catherine McNally, in Washington and Luxembourg. Cori also produced her 'A game' at the biggest tennis scene, becoming the youngest qualifier at Wimbledon and reaching the fourth round following the victory over her idol Venus in the first round.

Also, Gauff had the opportunity to compete at home Major in New York as well, beating Anastasia Potapova and Timea Babos to set the mouth-watering third-round clash with the defending champion Naomi Osaka. The more experienced player proved to be too strong for the youngster, scoring a 6-3, 6-0 triumph in just over an hour after converting six out of seven break chances and rattling off the last eight games of the encounter.

The emotions were too much for Gauff to deal after the match, bursting into tears but getting a chance to share an on-court interview with Naomi who invited her to stay and say something to her partisan crowd, which meant a lot to the youngster.

"I really didn't want to take the attention of Naomi because she had reached the round of 16, and it was her moment," Gauff said. "But, she came to me with such sweet words, and I think she meant it. The whole match I felt I just was adjusting, I was a little intimidated; I've watched so many matches on Arthur Ashe and it's a lot bigger when you're inside it. It wasn't anything technical that I was doing; I just felt like I was adjusting the whole time."