Coco Gauff: I’m excited to get back on clay at the Olympic Games

Coco Gauff is not thinking about her campaign in Flushing Meadows as a title defence but as a fresh start

Coco Gauff Coco Gauff at Wimbledon in 2024 (Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic)
Wimbledon •Second round • completed
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US Open champion Coco Gauff says she won’t be going into the American swing thinking about a title defence.

Instead, at the moment, her thoughts are occupied with an excitement to return to clay-court competition at the Olympic Games.

“A lot of times players win their first slam, it takes them a couple years to win the next – not that I want to be that person,” she said after her 6-2, 6-1 win over Anca Todoni. “I want to win obviously as soon as possible.

“I tend to be ultracritical on myself. I’m like, Okay, let me take a step back, be patient, and enjoy the ride.

“When it comes to all of these events being bunched up together, I haven’t looked that far ahead honestly. Right now I’m looking at going back to clay transition. We’ll see when it gets to hard court. I think hard is the easiest to transition just ’cause nothing changes, it’s there, cement. I think that will be the easiest.

“I will be curious to see how this grass to clay goes. I feel like I’ve finally gotten used to moving on grass. I usually don’t go back on clay till next year. I’m excited to go back on clay. I do like clay, so I think it will be okay.”

Gauff: Whatever happens, I’ll always have the US Open to my name

As for her first Grand Slam title and the prospects of winning another, she replied: “I never wanted to take my career or any moment for granted. I never wanted to say, Well, I’ll get there eventually, and then it never happens. There’s a lot of players in the past that have had that happen to them.

“I take every moment seriously, every semi-final, every quarter-final. I don’t go in thinking I will have many more, just relax, because you don’t know that, nothing is promised.

“I think having that I just feel like, regardless of whatever happens in my career, I’ll always have that [US Open win] to my name.

“I have a lot more aspirations obviously than just winning one. I think the start of one just gives you a taste and gives you the belief that you can do it again.”

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