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August 31, 2020

Coco Gauff

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


6-3, 5-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've been such a huge fan favorite since you started doing so well at Grand Slams. How was it out there for you without people cheering you on? Do you think that was a factor in the result?

COCO GAUFF: I don't really think so. I think I compete just as hard with fans or not.

I could have played better today. Just going to get back to work and get ready for the French Open.

Q. Anastasija, who is 30 years old, said she wishes she had been able to play this well at age 16. How would you describe where you are in your career right now?

COCO GAUFF: I mean, just the beginning. I just got on tour a little over a year ago, so I still have a lot to learn and a long ways to go.

Q. You just mentioned you obviously have been on tour for a little over a year. This summer what do you feel you learned about yourself as a tennis player and a new public figure? You are in the news a lot for reasons other than tennis.

COCO GAUFF: I mean, this summer I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I can overcome a lot of things on and off the court. I still hope I can be that way and use my platform in that way.

Q. For someone who is a young sports star as yourself, how do you view your platform? Do you feel you're freer or more willing to speak out than people who came before you?

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, definitely. I feel like especially my generation has been popular, I guess, to speak out, not be afraid to use our voice. I think that just has something to do with it because other young people my age are also using their voice. I'm not as afraid to, like, use it.

Q. How much did the pandemic maybe hurt your development, maybe more than a 25-year-old? You're just 16, didn't get a chance to get out on the court a lot. Do you feel maybe you missed some months of key development?

COCO GAUFF: I think the break I was able to work on a lot of things that I normally wouldn't. I mean, it's common when you're younger. Normally when you're a younger player, you take training blocks. I don't think it hurt me so much.

The main part that hurt was just getting matches under my belt, getting experience. That's what I need on tour. I'm playing against people older than me who have been in more situations, difficult situations, than I have. I think the biggest thing is I just need experience.

Q. We don't know how tennis is going to be for the rest of the year. Do you know your plans yet for 2020, going into 2021?

COCO GAUFF: I mean, right now my plan is just to play as many tournaments as I can, to get matches under my belt. I mean, I'm still in doubles here, so I'll be here hopefully till the end. That's the goal. Then off to Europe we go.

Q. How much of a driving force are the Olympics potentially next year if you can qualify for them?

COCO GAUFF: Definitely a goal of mine to qualify. Right now I'm just focused on the match ahead, just focusing on the moment now. But obviously that's a goal, to qualify for the Olympics next year.

Q. What is your approach to handling losses, both soon after they happen and when you get back on the practice court?

COCO GAUFF: I mean, right now losses hurt. I mean, I'm disappointed. I'm going to go back to practice tomorrow and hopefully do my best in doubles, then prepare for singles in Europe.



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