In an interview with wtatennis.com, Coco Gauff's father discusses her extraordinary journey at Wimbledon and looks ahead to Monday's encounter with the former World No.1.
WTA Staff
July 7, 2019

WIMBLEDON, Great Britain - Coco Gauff's father and coach, Corey, has disclosed that the family keep on having to extend their hotel booking in Wimbledon. 

Originally only booked into their hotel for the week of the qualifying tournament, Gauff's family then extended their stay for the first week of the main draw, and now they have asked the front desk if they can have their rooms for a while longer. 

"We're staying in a hotel and we keep on having to extend our stay, but that's great," he said ahead of his 15-year-old daughter's fourth-round match against Romania's Simona Halep on Monday. "First we were just booked for a week, and then we extended that for another week, and then we're having to extend that. Coco wanted to get to the second week and she really wants to win the tournament."  

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Far from being overwhelmed by her new fame, Gauff is "enjoying the moment", according to her father. "A lot has happened fast, she has played a lot of matches, and got a lot of attention. It's been great for her," he said. "And the juniors are here now for the junior events so she gets to see some of her friends." 

In the space of a week, Coco has beaten her idol, Venus Williams, in the first round, and saved two match points in her third round win over Polona Hercog to become the youngest female player in the last 16 since Jennifer Capriati in 1991. But when they are back at the hotel after a day's competition or practice, the family do not speak much about the tennis.

Coco Gauff has stolen the headlines at Wimbledon all week (Getty)
Coco Gauff has stolen the headlines at Wimbledon all week (Getty)

"She's pretty grounded. We don't talk much about the tennis once the match is over or once we have prepped for the next match," said her father. "It's just another tennis match. I know it's Wimbledon, but to me she's still learning how to be a better tennis player. I just say to her that she's getting a lot of great experience that's going to help her in the future."

If Coco plays "good tennis", her dad said, that should be "good enough" against Halep, a former WTA World No.1. "Simona is a great competitor - she competes really hard. Hopefully my daughter is going to step up and be ready for that challenge.

"I think that if she plays good tennis she will give herself some chances," he said. "If she stays positive out there, and keeps fighting like she did in her last match, you never know what's going to happen. You give herself a chance. I think her good tennis is good enough." 

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Corey was delighted when his daughter survived the two match points against Slovenia's Hercog on Centre Court on Friday evening. "Looking at her being positive under duress, and fighting, that made me proud," he said. 

"Look, all the moments are special. It's her first Grand Slam in the main draw and she played a legend, Venus, on No.1 Court. That stood out a little bit, looking at the crowd, and how beautiful that was.

"And then getting the chance to do that over and over. All of it has been pretty special, something she can always remember. This is a pretty special place. Way back in the day, when I first started watching tennis on TV, it was Wimbledon."