‘Starstruck’ Coco Gauff taking newfound fame in her stride at Wimbledon
It has been a whirlwind week for Coco Gauff, but she is refusing to get distracted as she looks to go deep at Wimbledon.
Gauff came through qualifying last week as she became the youngest player to reach the main draw of Wimbledon at the age of 15.
But her journey was far from over as she then went on to stun fellow American and former world No 1 Venus Williams in straight sets in her Wimbledon opener and she followed it up with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Magdalena Rybarikova in her second match. The shock results saw bookmaker William Hill slash their odds on her winning the whole tournament to 12/1.
Naturally she has been the talk of the town, but the teenager knows she needs to keep a lid on things.
“I wasn’t expecting any of this,” she said. “A lot of celebrities were messaging, posting me. I’m kind of starstruck. It’s been hard to reset. I don’t know.
“The last three days have definitely just kind of been surprising. It just shows if you really work hard, you can get where you want to go.
“Last week around this time, I didn’t know I was coming here. It just shows you have to be ready for everything.
“Surprisingly social media kind of relaxes me before the match. That’s what I kind of do.
“Right now I’m going to keep everything the same because it’s been working.”
Gauff was excellent during her 6-4, 6-4 win over Williams, but she somehow managed to up her game against Rybarikova.
“I think it wasn’t so much that my tennis improved, it was more my mindset,” she said. “Because my mindset improved, my tennis definitely changed. I don’t think it was so much how many balls I hit in practice. It was more off court thinking how can I improve myself and improve the way I act on the court.
“It’s definitely been a challenge. I think I’ve kind of reached basically almost the best mentality I can get to. You always can improve.
“Right now I feel like the way I’m acting and the way I kind of feel inside… You can kind of fake it till you make it – but I’m not faking it, at least right now.”
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