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September 1, 2019

Coco Gauff

Caty McNally

New York, NY, USA


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What stands out from last year to this year?
CATY McNALLY: I mean, I think so much stands out. Last year playing in juniors we actually played a couple matches indoors so there was only about 20 people there maybe. I mean, today we had a packed house on Louis Armstrong. So there is a huge difference.

It makes a huge difference actually just to have that support, especially in those big moments, those tiebreakers, you have all those people supporting you. It helps so much.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, like, the crowd was unreal today. I didn't think it would be that many people at the match, to be honest. I mean, I knew we were on Armstrong, but I couldn't see an empty seat and they were sold out and so supportive. I think that definitely helped us, especially when the pressure moments came.

Q. Caty, you had been on Ashe before. Did you talk to Coco at all before her match last night how crazy it could be? What advice did you give her about the Ashe experience?
CATY McNALLY: I think I talked to her a little bit. She knows it's really just another court. It's really hard to think that way, but the lines and everything, like, the distance is the same. There is just a ton of people watching.

Yeah, I told her a little bit about how it was going to be when she walked on. It's dark, especially a night match. They turn the lights on.

I hope you had a really good time out there. I did when I played. It was a really special week, I guess, for both of us.

Q. Caty, a day or two ago you said what you liked most about Coco was her fighting spirit. What do you like most about this kid? Coco, what do you like most about your elder partner?
CATY McNALLY: Well, on court, like I said, I love the way Coco fights and competes and just leaves it all out there. She's super fun to play with, always supporting me in doubles. We pick each other up when the other one is down.

Off the court, she's just very silly, laughing, always has a smile on her face and always puts a smile on my face and lightens the mood.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, what I like on court about Caty is she's not afraid to take chances and risks. Obviously she has really good hands, so it's good to know you have someone at the net and she gets some unreal shots back. That's cool.

I like the way her and her coach Kevin banter with each other. It's pretty funny, and I dig into it as well. Caty is really funny and I really like her.

Q. Coco, I was talking to some fans who watched your match yesterday, and they were speaking before the end of that match you seemed to have a lot of pressure on you and all eyes on you, and the difference today you seem so light, so happy, so joyous, and even that your box, your parents seem so happy comparatively. Can you speak to that, the difference between last night and today?
COCO GAUFF: I think I came into both matches with the same mentality. I just think the difference between yesterday and today is that today we won and yesterday I lost. Yesterday I didn't really, like, I guess, couldn't control the point. She was hitting the ball really hard, and today we played with super control and everything.

I wasn't really feeling pressure or nervous because I'm going against the No. 1 player in the world. Actually, that was the least of my pressure I felt in the past three matches. Today, doubles, I came in with a little more pressure on myself than singles because I know I have someone else that I can't let down. I think she kind of helps me to calm down on the court.

Q. You both have made such great impact here at the Open this year. You will forever be remembered for your individual performances. Does that make you fight that much harder to get the reward of winning the doubles now that you had that experience?
CATY McNALLY: Yeah, I think for us, like, playing on Louis Armstrong with a packed crowd, it makes us want to go out there and play again so badly. I could go out right now again and play because it was so much fun and such an awesome atmosphere to play in.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, same for me. Yeah, playing on Armstrong was really cool, and I'm glad that it was actually a lot of people. I think in general, just whether singles or doubles, we're going to come here to compete and win. I think that's what both of us prepared for in our matches whether individual or together.

Q. Next up is Barty and Azarenka. Pretty accomplished players who play a lot together. You guys don't get a chance to play all that often. How do you make up that gap against people who get to do it all the time?
CATY McNALLY: I didn't even know that we played them until now. I mean, we'll probably just enjoy this moment for now and worry about that later. But obviously they're both very accomplished players in singles and they have been doing really well in doubles. I'm just really looking forward to going out there and playing.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, same.

Q. When you're 70 years old, two years' difference gap or nothing. When you're juniors, two years could be big. I would like to know if, for 15-year-old girl, the 17 years of her, is it a lot or much? Do you go out in the evening together or choosing different people in a group? And vice versa?
COCO GAUFF: Well, I think the age doesn't really matter as much. Two years is not really that big in general. I think on court we definitely play beyond our years, I guess.

Obviously our friend groups are different because she lives in Ohio and I live in Florida so it's completely different.

But I guess not just me and her but all the young Americans in general, we all kind of talk to each other and hang out, whether it's 15 and 18 years old or 14 and 17. The age doesn't matter. I think we just click a little bit.

Q. Wondering when the first time you guys played doubles together was and how that came to be? Who asked who? How did that happen?
CATY McNALLY: Two years ago? Yeah, in Eastbourne we played a Maureen Connolly friendly match against the British players. Me and Coco played together and we won, like, 6-1, 6-0, or I don't know what it was. From there we knew we were super good and that something clicked. We decided to play last year here in the juniors. We played D.C. and here again. It's only our third tournament, yeah.

Q. Being that this is only your third tournament, you guys played the ninth seed today. I was following the other guys. Really, you looked more mature and down to earth in the situation. Where does it come from being that you are high school and college age?
COCO GAUFF: I think that in general we're just both mentally positive and strong on the court, and I think we both just really, Caty, I was, like, we just have fun. Both our coaches just tell us to have fun out there on the court and play our game. I think that kind of shows, I guess, to you guys.

I think that shows in our results, as well. We're kind of out there having fun and enjoying it.

Q. The junior tournament started today. A lot of your peers are walking around. I wonder now that you have played a bunch of pro tournaments, does it feel different? Do you feel like you should still be with them? Was it a lifetime ago? How does it feel with them being here and you are their age?
CATY McNALLY: I'm just super thankful to be in the pros now. The juniors is obviously a great steppingstone and we learned a lot. We got to play on the big stages, which I think helped us now, but I'm super thankful to be out of that stage and playing in the pros.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I think I wouldn't regret or change anything different. I think juniors is great. But I'm glad obviously to be playing here on the pro stage and playing in front of Armstrong, but I think that definitely last year doubles and us playing juniors helped prepare us for this year.

So I think it's just all like a constant ladder that we are constantly trying to climb and get better.

Q. Here at the US Open they have a really nice tradition of honoring the greats: Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean, Althea Gibson. We have been mentioning Louis Armstrong a lot, and he was a fantastic musician and personality from a long, long time ago?
CATY McNALLY: He played the saxophone.

COCO GAUFF: What was his name? Saxamo [sic]?

Q. Wrong. Trumpet.
COCO GAUFF: His nickname was Saxamo [sic]? Exactly. I was right.

Q. Satchmo.
COCO GAUFF: You said saxophone. I was right. Don't listen to her (laughter). We had a history lesson today.

Q. Do you guys know a little bit about him or...
COCO GAUFF: We actually talked about it today. Caty's coach, Kevin, is how I know his name is Saxamo [sic]. But we talked about it and they said if this question comes up in press you say, we know about the Saxamo [sic], whatever. Yeah. Oh, my God. This is embarrassing.

CATY McNALLY: I thought that's what he played.

COCO GAUFF: It was a trumpet. He told us that. You didn't pay attention.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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