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Coco Gauff: 'I don't know how I'm going to feel at Wimbledon'

Coco Gauff: 'I don't know how I'm going to feel at Wimbledon'
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The American's career took off in 2019 when she made it to the fourth round at SW19.

Coco Gauff does not know how she will feel next week when she returns to the scene where her career took off two years ago.

The American was the story of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships when she made it to the fourth round as a 15-year-old before being beaten by eventual champion Simona Halep.

She became worldwide news, with celebrities such as Beyonce's mum Tina Knowles engaging with her on social media and tennis royalty Roger Federer and Serena Williams taking her under their wing.

Her career has continued on the right path since, winning her first WTA Tour title shortly after and comfortably sitting inside the world's top 25 after her recent run to the French Open quarter-final.

She is back in England, playing at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, reflecting on how life changed two years ago.

"Yes, it definitely did," she said. "Definitely for the better."

"It does feel so long ago. I won't say it feels like yesterday. It feels like it was a long time ago – and it was almost two years ago.

"It's just crazy. I don't know how I'm going to feel going back for the first time. I know I'll be happy.

Gauff was the star of the tournament two years ago when she made it to the second week as a 15-year-old
Gauff was the star of the tournament two years ago when she made it to the second week as a 15-year-old (Steven Paston/PA)

"People might expect me to feel pressure going into it, but I don't really feel any pressure going into it. I'm just going to have fun and enjoy it.

"I don't really want to push myself to compare my result this year with last time.

"I want to do better than when I first went there but it was the start of everything. I'm thankful for that experience and it definitely helped me as a player and a person.

"I guess I haven't actually had any flashbacks regarding Wimbledon yet, so maybe that will happen when I get on the grounds."

Gauff, now 17, has not played a single match on grass since her SW19 debut after last season's swing was cancelled due to coronavirus.

She has been practising on hard courts in the south of France ahead of her arrival in Sussex, but is excited to get back to  London.

"Wimbledon is definitely the most prestigious out of the grand slams, they have all the rules about wearing the white and only certain people can play on the Centre Court unless you are playing a match there," she added.

"I thought it was so cool maybe to think about playing an exclusive tournament and the fact that I got to do that so young was really cool.

"And also play on the two biggest courts of the tournament, which many people have yet to play on, that is something I take pride in."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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