Only a teen, Coco Gauff is not weary of the US Open bubble nor the rules surrounding it. The 16-year-old sounds like someone enjoying her time in New York where the Cincinnati Masters kicks off Saturday when she’ll meet Maria Sakkari.
“It’s definitely exceeded my expectations,” Gauff said of the bubble. “At the hotel they have a lot of activities for us to do, which I was a little bit worried about that, that there wouldn’t be anything to do besides Netflix. They actually have a lot of things to do.
“The bubble has been great. The tournament, the USTA, has done a great job with everything,” she added. “There’s not really much I can ask for after this.
“On-site they have a lot of outdoor games, basketball, pool, soccer, paddle tennis, bean bag. They have a cool nine-hole mini golf course, which is pretty cool.
“At the hotel they have PS4, ping-pong, typical arcade games. They also have karaoke. I don’t think that’s been a big hit because I don’t think anybody wants to go up and sing in front of everybody in the tournament.”
The US Open won’t have fans and for Gauff, she’s already got a plan.
“Definitely have to stay motivated. There’s no fans, so you’re going to have to be your biggest cheerleader out on the court. That’s what I’m going to try to do, keep positive, cheer myself on when moments get tough,” she said.
“I mean, it’s still tennis, the same court, the same balls regardless if there’s fans or not.”
Gauff, who fell to Jennifer Brady in the Lexington semifinals, will be in action tomorrow against the 13th-seeded Sakkari. The two have never met.
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