By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
Rising tennis sensation Cori “Coco” Gauff is coming off her Wimbledon high, where she wowed the world when she defeated legendary player Venus Williams, and keeping up momentum at Citi Open.
“I’m excited to be playing in D.C. It’s one of my favorite cities,” Gauff said at the Citi Open kickoff press conference on July 26.
Gauff was the main attraction at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in Northwest, D.C., where onlookers were excited to catch a glimpse of the 15-year-old prodigy since her Wimbledon win.
“After Wimbledon I took almost a week off and then relaxed at home with my family and then I got back to work,” Gauff said.
Wimbledon was a didactic moment in the young player’s life.
“It was a great learning experience for me. Not just as a tennis player, but for me as Coco. I’m glad that I was able to experience that.
“I learned that I was capable of things I didn’t know I was capable of and I learned that I have a pretty good fighting spirit too,” she added.
“It wasn’t just how amazing her play was, but how she composed herself, how hard she fought, and how gracious she was,” said Mark Ein, the Citi Open ball boy turned new owner.
The fighter won the qualifying round to officially play in the Citi Open and won three career draws for the event, but was defeated in the first round by 25-year-old Zarina Diyas.
“Every loss, there’s something I learn from that, so I learned something about myself,” Gauff said, according to CNN.
The AFRO asked Gauff about her new place in the spotlight and how she’s dealing with the pressure.
“I don’t really feel that much pressure because I’m just being myself- and I guess myself is a good thing,” she said with confidence. “Obviously I know a lot more people are watching, but I think that my parents raised me well, so I don’t think I have to change the way I act or anything. I think it’s just me being me, and I’ll be okay.”