STUTTGART, Germany -- In another life, maybe US Open champion Coco Gauff would have been assigned the tough task of stopping Caitlin Clark on the hardwood. 

Gauff, 20, grew up in south Florida playing both sports before focusing on tennis. Her father, Corey, played basketball at Georgia State University. Her mother, Candi, was a heptathlete at Florida State University. 

After battling through a tough three-set win over fellow American Sachia Vickery in the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Wednesday, the World No.3 was asked whether she ever wondered what would have happened if she had chosen basketball over tennis.

"It's funny because my dad was actually talking about that," Gauff said. "He was, like, 'You would have been right up there. You would have been a sophomore. I would have had you shooting Js and everything.'

"Yeah, I don't know if I would be that type of player, but I will say if I could go in another life I would love to play at the same time as Caitlin Clark just to see if I could guard her. Obviously, now I definitely couldn't, but I don't know, if I trained for it, [I] just [want] to see."

Gauff was still playing basketball when she made the US Open junior final as a 13-year-old. 

"That was my dad's dream, not mine.," Gauff said at the 2022 French Open. "Tennis was my dream. But, yeah, he said all his kids had to play basketball at least once.

"I was really good on defense. I couldn't shoot to save my life, but defense I was on it and because it's the change of direction. And guarding people, I was really good at that."

"I'm just really excited to see Caitlin Clark's first game, and Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso. I'm really excited to see them on the same team too."

- Coco Gauff

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Gauff has been following the explosion of interest in women's basketball closely, setting her alarms to follow the NCAA tournament all through March and April. Catching a game is tricky given the tennis travel schedule, but she hopes to be able to catch one when she returns home over the summer. 

"It's very exciting to see the women's game especially in basketball getting as much traction now," Gauff said. "They definitely deserve it. I've been Instagram mutuals with some of the girls. Cameron Brink just signed with New Balance. And Angel Reese, had some DMs with her, and same with Caitlin and Paige Bueckers."

It is undeniably an exciting time for women's sports across the board. The NCAA women's basketball tournament and WNBA draft shattered previous viewing records earlier this month. Gauff's own win in the US Open final last September delivered American host broadcaster ESPN its the largest TV audience ever for a women's Grand Slam final. 

"I know tennis has been there, and I'm just excited to see these incredible athletes get the recognition that they deserve, and I think in the whole it will uplift our sport and other sports like women's soccer and all that."

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