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US Open: Teen sensation gives direct order ‘just call me Coco’

Return: Coco Gauff fires back during her tie against Potapova

 

Coco Gauff continued her fairytale rise with a comeback win over Anastasia Potapova on her US Open debut on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old recovered from losing the first set 6-3 to claim the next two 6-2, 7-5 against a player 68 places higher up in the rankings.

Gauff got a wild-card entry from the US Tennis Association after making a surprising run to the fourth-round at Wimbledon last month in the first Grand Slam tournament of her career.

The American fell behind 3-0 at the start against Potapova, an 18-year-old from Russia, then was broken to begin the second set and third before turning things around at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The players’ combined age of 33 made it the youngest matchup of the first-round at Flushing Meadows.

Gauff had hand-written a message on her trainers before the match, instructing her fans what to call her.

It read: ‘Call me Coco’, and was scrawled in black marker pen.

Determined Coco reacts after gaining a point

The teenager made the headlines after reaching the second week at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Despite being just a qualifier she beat her idol Venus Williams, 24 years her senior, 6-4, 6-4 in her maiden Grand Slam match.

It had been five years since a player won a main draw match at the US Open prior to their 16th birthday; the last player to do it was CiCi Bellis

Gauff next will face Hungary’s Timea Babos in the second round. Babos, 26, advanced earlier Tuesday after her first-round opponent, No. 28 seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, retired after Babos won the first set 6-2.

Should Gauff get past Babos, who is ranked 112th, she potentially could face world No. 1 Naomi Osaka in the third round.

 

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