July 1, 2021
Wimbledon, London, UK
C. GAUFF/E. Vesnina
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What did it feel like to be back on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, if it felt any different from the first time you were there, how maybe you might be different now than you were when you were here two years ago?
COCO GAUFF: It did feel a lot different. I honestly was more nervous today coming into today's match. I think the biggest thing is I don't really remember much from my Centre Court experience in 2019. I don't know, I felt like it was all a blur.
But going in today I feel like a completely different player and person. I feel like there's moments in the match where, you know, the pressure was on from 3-0 lead and getting broken. I feel like that's a moment where I probably mentally could have disengaged the match in the past. I think I did a good job with trying my best to calm my nerves.
It wasn't my best tennis today, but I think mentally I gave a good performance considering how nervous I was.
Q. What you said about being so nervous, why do you think you were so nervous this time? You said even more so than when you first went out there two years ago.
COCO GAUFF: Honestly, I have no idea. To be honest, I wasn't nervous till we started walking to the court. It's a pretty, like, nice walk. They have the little guards out around. They have a lot of artwork. It's very, I don't know, like you're walking through a museum.
I don't know, I think the walk is kind of what made me nervous. Like before and warming up, and last night, I wasn't nervous. I think it was really the walk. I think I really got comfortable really not till the end of the first set. Once I got through that set, I knew that even if the second set didn't go my way, I still had the third set to play.
I think for me it was just trying to get a rhythm on the court. I made a lot of unforced errors today, more than I'm used to. I think when I needed to step in, I did. My serve is really what helped me in today's match. My serve has been pretty helping me all throughout French and all throughout here. That was one thing I relied on today.
Q. To what degree did you enter this fortnight with an expectation to go all the way? How does that compare with how your expectations were two years ago?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, I don't really expect anything from myself except how I act on the court, trying to be the best behavioral-wise. I try my best every time.
But for me, I try not to put expectations on myself, at least only put the ones that I can control, and I know I can control how I act on the court and how I carry myself.
Not every day you step on the court you're going to play your best tennis. So I don't try to expect anything. What I do say, I would say I have more of a belief. I don't really like the word 'expectations', I don't like that word. I think I use more the other word 'belief.' I believe that I can win. I think I believed that back in 2019, and I believe that now. I don't think anything has changed. My goal is to always win the tournament regardless of my ranking or what people think of me.
What I will say is that goal I guess is more clear right now than it was in 2019. I think just my belief is a lot stronger now, the feeling that I can go far.
But, yeah, I don't really like the word 'expectations' because at the end of the day you can't control how you play all the time. Stuff happens. It's grass. You never know what happens. But I try to control the things that I can control.
Q. You mentioned your serve. That obviously helped you a lot today. Where in your game do you see the room for continued improvement? You're incredibly young. This is all in many ways still very new to you. You have a long road ahead of you. Where do you think you can most improve as you go along in your career?
COCO GAUFF: I think the biggest thing is just being smart on the court. I feel like sometimes I have to make the other opponent play. I feel like sometimes I try to overplay and overcompensate in situations that I don't need to.
I think sometimes the best shot is just putting it in the court compared to going for the line or something. That's something that I have to fight myself on because my instinct is to go big.
It's nice to go big, but sometimes it's okay to be a little bit passive. It just all depends on the momentum of the match. I think that's one thing I have to improve on.
Also the returning, I think I can do better on my returns. I did break her I think three times today. That's better. But I think I can improve on that, too.
Q. Off the court, a couple years ago here at Wimbledon, you talked a lot between your matches about social media, TikTok. Is that still a part of your life, something you spend time on when you're not working, practicing, playing?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I think TikTok I'm active on a lot. Actually, I really don't post a lot of tennis-related stuff on TikTok. I would say a good 30% or maybe even 40% of people who follow me on TikTok don't even know I play tennis. That's how the app works. I get comments all the time, people saying, I didn't know you were this person, I didn't know you played tennis. I just thought you were a TikToker.
Honestly I think of it as a compliment. I'm not only a tennis player, I have other interests in other things. Social media, for me it's always been a good thing. You always get, like, hate comments here and there, but it's always been a good thing to be an outlet to try to show other sides of me.
I still enjoy it. I think I'm more active on it now than I was two years ago.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports