Coco Gauff gets early birthday gift as she flies American flag along with ‘on-Tour older sister’ Jessica Pegula
Playing in her final game as an 18-year-old, Coco Gauff won the battle of the teenagers as she defeated fellow young gun Linda Noskova while her doubles partner Jessica Pegula battled past Anastasia Potapova.
Gauff has been a household name in the world of tennis since she burst onto the scene as a qualifier at Wimbledon 2019 and she looks set to continue her rise over the next few years.
She will start life as 19-year-old on Monday with a smile on her face after claiming a 6-4, 6-3 victory over 18-year-old Noskova.
After the win the American was asked to reflect on life ahead of her birthday and the sixth seed replied: “I’m for sure living my dream. I guess the on-court part is glamorous in a way, yes. Off-court, I always tell people my life is boring. That’s part of the reason why I’ve never done any, I guess, filming or any of that, like behind-the-scenes stuff. I literally just don’t leave my room sometimes.
“I guess online and that persona, yeah, I’m living the dream, but I guess that’s my dream.”
The fourth round is calling 📞@CocoGauff holds off Noskova 6-4, 6-3 in an all-teen battle.#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/dh4uyeFqZ1
— wta (@WTA) March 13, 2023
Her compatriot Pegula had a bigger battle on her hands as she lost the opening set against Potapova before rallying to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 17 minutes.
During the post-match press conference Gauff was asked how Pegula, with whom she plays doubles, has inspired her.
“As a person, I mean, Jess is probably one of the best out there, I think, especially where she comes from. Not that you should, but she could just tell everyone, like, F*** off (smiling),” she said.
“She’s like one of the nicest people ever. She’s older than me. You know, she deals with all my antics when I try and say certain things. In a way, like, she does, in a way, she’s like my on-Tour older sister in a way. Playing with her on the court, she’s always positive and, you know, telling me, You know, you’re good, go for your shots, keep doing that. Off the court, yeah, I really look to her as a friend and someone that I enjoy spending time with.”
Gauff will face Rebecca Peterson in the fourth round after the Swede defeated Jil Teichmann 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 while Pegula will be up against two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova.
Czech Kvitova won a bizarre match against Jelena Ostapenko as the former French Open champion won six games in a row to take the opening set 6-0 before Kvitova won 10 games in a row for a 0-6, 6-0, 4-0 lead. The Latvian then won the next four games to make it 4-4 before Kvitova notched up two consecutive games for a 0-6, 6-0, 6-4 win.
Sixth seed Maria Sakkari also battled to a three-set win as the Greek defeated Anhelina Kalinina 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a fourht-round clash against Karolina Pliksova, who beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-5.
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