August 15, 2021
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Have you been able to start hitting on the courts? What is your sense as to how things are playing, how the ball is moving?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I got to hit today on-site just once. The courts are a little bit slower than Montreal. But I guess for me, I prefer, if I'm going to transfer from tournament to tournament, it's definitely easier to go from the fast courts in Montreal to a little bit slower here.
They're still fairly fast, it is just that Montreal is super fast, so coming here it feels a lot slower.
Q. Montreal was an odd tournament for you only because you made the quarters but didn't get to play that much tennis. What did you take out of that week?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I mean, for me, I had to pretty much learn what I did for the two matches that I played. Against Sevastova I played a good match. Against Giorgi, I think I played a good match. There were moments I could have played better. She played amazing, had an amazing tournament, which is why she won the tournament. So congratulations to her. I guess it's never too bad to lose to the winner.
Q. This is your first full season on the tour since last year was interrupted. You've played quite a bit this year. At this point in the season heading into New York, how are you feeling physically and mentally? How much gas is in the tank at this point?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I guess for my first full season, I definitely traveled more than I guess -- I knew I was going to travel a lot, but I guess it feels like a lot more than I thought it would.
Other than that I feel great mentally and physically. Like mentally I feel, at least for me, I'd have more fun playing when we're not in a bubble. I just noticed that in myself on the court. But I think that's pretty much everybody's answer to that.
Physically I feel great. I would say physically from tournament to tournament I haven't had any problems, no bad injuries, nothing. Knock on wood that I can keep that health going.
Yeah, I feel like going into the US Open I feel great. I had a good week in Montreal. I'm hoping to have a good week here.
Q. Playing with Caty, she's the local girl in Cincinnati, how much has she told you about the event, the city, where to eat? You have access to a good local tour guide.
COCO GAUFF: Yes, she's told me a lot about the tournament. She told me that Kings Island is pretty fun. I don't know if I'll have time to go. She also told me Skyline is like a hot dog place. I don't know what it is. I'll try that after the tournament. I have to speak to her more. I only got to see her briefly today.
Yeah, I'm excited to play doubles with her here. Normally we have a lot of support when we play in the U.S., but definitely since she's the favorite here, I'm excited to get that home crowd support. Maybe I can get a little bit of Coco in there, but definitely it will be mostly Caty's screaming in the crowd.
Q. What is keeping you occupied off the court these days?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, when we're in the bubble, we just play pretty much. That's pretty much all we do. In Montreal they had a Mario Nintendo in the lobby. Actually gifted me a Nintendo Switch. I played with my dad. But, yeah, most of the time that's what we do.
Not in a bubble, we just do normal stuff: eat dinner, walk around the city, normal stuff you would do when there's no bubble.
Q. Have you downloaded any games on the Switch?
COCO GAUFF: No, I already owned a Switch before they gifted it to me. I haven't downloaded any on that Switch. I have a Switch. I left it at home. I have Fortnite on there, Mario Kart, Smash Bros., all the classic games I have on there.
Q. We don't want to look past your opening round. You could play Naomi in the second round. What are your thoughts?
COCO GAUFF: Honestly, I haven't really thought about the match because I still have to play the match in front of me. If I start thinking about that match, I have more chance of not doing as well as I want in the match before me.
For me, I just try to stay in the moment, stay present. I guess I'll start thinking about that match hopefully once I get through this first-round match.
Q. Do you like having matchups that are like that? Nobody would say you're rivals, but it's a matchup that people get excited for. Is that something you feed off of or you prefer low-key?
COCO GAUFF: For me, I guess in my head every matchup is a big matchup for me because no matter who you play, everybody has the same amount of chance to beat you on the court. Same with me, I have the same amount of chance to win.
Obviously I know when I play bigger players like her, Ash, anybody who is top 10, I know there's going to be more attraction around it. I'm not going to deny it. I know if I get there, people will be watching.
I mean, it definitely fuels me a little bit more, I will say that, because the more people talk about you, the more you kind of feel good about yourself that people care to watch you play tennis.
Yeah, it doesn't make me nervous. Those are the moments that I guess make or break you. It will be interesting if it happens.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports