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June 9, 2018

Cori Gauff

Paris, France

C. GAUFF/C. McNally

1-6, 6-3, 7-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What a fantastic win. Congratulations. What is your reaction?
CORI GAUFF: Obviously I'm very excited and happy, because this is my first time and this is, like, my first main draw Roland Garros. So it's really exciting to be playing here.

You know, it was a tough fight, but at the end it was worth it.

Q. I think you started quite nervously, didn't you? First set was something like 25 minutes, down a break. How did you turn it around?
CORI GAUFF: I just kept telling myself to stay calm, and I can do this. Like, the night before my cousin texted me, and she said, No matter what happens, just say calm, and just remember that you can win. So I just kept thinking about that.

I just kept grinding every point. At the end, it was worth it.

Q. You played a second Grand Slam final after the US Open. Do you think that helped you today, the experience?
CORI GAUFF: Yeah, definitely it helped me, because I was nervous. I remember being nervous at US Open where I couldn't really play. So I tried not to let myself get there here, even though I was nervous.

But, you know, I just told myself to keep fighting.

Q. Does the same apply to those two championship points that you had at the end of the third set? Having not taken them, how did you recover? How did you feel after that?
CORI GAUFF: After that, I knew that I still had a tiebreaker to go through, so, I mean, I couldn't really dwell on that. Because, I mean, if I did, I probably would have lost the tiebreaker.

So I just told myself to keep going strong in the tiebreaker, and I knew what I had to do. And if I would have dwelled on those two points, then I probably would have end up losing, because, I mean, she -- I give it to Caty. She always fights. That's why I think she's such a great player. Like, even in the semifinals, I knew that she was going to probably save a couple match points, because she did it in the semifinals and she'll do it again.

Q. Was it difficult to be considered as a favorite at only 14 years old?
CORI GAUFF: It wasn't difficult. It actually helped me. I was surprised that the crowd was cheering for me, because I'm not really used to that. But they definitely helped me, because every time I looked, someone was, you know, giving me a fist pump or telling me to keep fighting.

And, you know, even when I lost the first set 1-6 and was down 3-0, they were still cheering me on, which was surprising to me.

Q. Congrats. It seemed like you have been touched at every point that you lose. Did you find it difficult to refocus? Was it the main lack of things that you missed today?
CORI GAUFF: It wasn't really difficult for me to focus after losing points, because, I mean, in every match you're going to play you're going to lose points. I was just more focused on controlling my emotions after that. And then the points I won, I pumped myself up.

Q. Congratulations. Can you explain what exactly the role of Patrick Mouratoglou on your team? Do you work sometimes with him? Do you spend some time in his academy? Can you explain?
CORI GAUFF: Yeah, couple times out of the year, like, three, four weeks at a time, I go to his academy and I train there. Yeah, and usually when he's there, he helps me out. But mostly I work with Kerei. He's one of the head coaches there.

Q. At this moment, of course, the title match is going on with another American woman, looking pretty good right now. Have you met Sloane? Do you have any kind of relationship with her? And also, having trained at Patrick's academy, have you had any contact with Serena?
CORI GAUFF: Yes, I have met Sloane when I was 10, I believe, I would say, and I have met her a couple of times after that. I also saw her at US Open. So that was another thing, when I was in the finals she won, so now I'm hoping she wins and I can win.

I have met Serena a couple times, too. I met her once at the opening ceremony for Mouratoglou's academy.

Q. Five of the last seven majors in juniors have gone to Americans. How great is that? You have this kind of competitive generation kind of pushing each other forward?
CORI GAUFF: I think it's really great, because we are all cheering for each other. You know, we always want to keep the championship home. It's really nice to see all of my friends doing good and doing well in tournaments.

Q. With both Sloane and Serena, do they feel like kind of very distant figures to you, or were you comfortable approaching them and chatting with them?
CORI GAUFF: They're my idols. So even if I see them, like, every day, I'm still going to be nervous talking to them, because I look up to them.

You know, I always want to make a good impression. But, you know, I really like them, and they're really nice to me and I'm grateful for that.

Q. Do you want to be as early as possible on the pro tour or to take your time with the junior program?
CORI GAUFF: I just want to really ease my way into the playing pros. Starting to play some 25s, so yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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