August 28, 2019
Only weeks after her Centre Court heroics against Polona Hercog, the amazing Coco Gauff is at it again. Still only fifteen-and-a-half, still refusing to be beaten when all looks lost. Still putting her proud parents through all kinds of psychol0gical and emotional gymnastics on her way to a typically gutsy victory. Coco didn’t need to save two match points at the US Open as she did at Wimbledon. But it was looking pretty bad in the first round at Flushing Meadows against Anastasia Potapova. It looked for a while as though the new sensation had let the sense of occasion get to her in New York. Poor Coco couldn’t do much right. Pretty soon she was a set down and a break down too. She was staring disappointing defeat in the face.
The Comeback Kid
But they call Coco the Comeback Kid for a reason. And it was now or never. Gauff fought back ferociously. She broke time and again to take the second set. Then, when it mattered, she maintained the momentum to hold her nerve, closeout and emerge a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 winner. When Coco flicks the switch, opponents had better watch out. Waiting for Coco to flick that switch can be traumatic for those who love her most, though.
‘I think I gave my family a heart attack, especially my mom,’ acknowledged the smiling youngster later. ‘My dad looks a little bit tired over there, too.’
So the amazing Coco Gauff lives to fight another day. And her parents will be more than ready to face whatever challenges come their way as spectators too. When you consider who has fallen already at Flushing Meadows, it’s nice just to be surviving. In the men’s draw, seeds 4, 8, 9 and 10 tripped at the first hurdle.
Dominic Thiem made 48 unforced errors as he lost to Thomas Fabbiano and Stefanos Tsitsipas was edged out by Andrey Rublev. Meanwhile Karen Khachanov couldn’t convert nine breakpoints as he was defeated by Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. And British hope Kyle Edmund battled for four hours and 21 minutes before he fell to Pablo Andujar.
But somehow all the shock early exits didn’t seem to matter once Coco Gauff had done her thing. The spontaneous shifting of gears, the sheer unpredictability of this kid’s tennis journey creates a massive buzz.
Who is looking forward to the thrills and spills of teenager Coco’s return to Wimbledon already?