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Australian Open 2020: Coco Gauff says Sam Stosur was her first autograph

Sporting News logo Sporting News 21/01/2020
a person on a court with a racket © Provided by Sporting News

It's still too early in their respective careers to be talking about winning Grand Slams just yet, but there's little doubt American teenage sensations Coco Gauff and Caty McNally are the future of women's tennis.

Never was that more evident than on day one of the 2020 Australian Open when they each eliminated WTA Tour veterans.

Gauff, still just 15 years old, earned her second Grand Slam win over Venus Williams, after shocking the tennis world by beating the seven-time major champion at Wimbledon last year.

This time around, with more pressure on her shoulders, Gauff scored a 7-6(5) 6-3 win over the 39-year-old Williams to set up a second round clash with Sorana Cristea on Wednesday.

Now two-from-two over Williams, Gauff's exploits are made even more incredible by the fact Venus was already a four time Grand Slam winner by the time Gauff was born. 

Gauff was midway through her post-match press conference on Monday evening when her doubles partner McNally went up a break on another tennis veteran, Sam Stosur at Melbourne Arena.

The 18-year-old McNally - who was one of the more impressive performers during Aus Open qualifying last week - ended up holding off a late Stosur fightback to take a 6-1 6-4 win.

Affectionately known as 'McGauff' when they team up for doubles, McNally and Gauff have already won titles at the Washington Open and Luxembourg Open, and will play alongside one another in the doubles here next week.

When told her doubles partner and good friend was beating Stosur, Gauff made another revelation that shows the vast age gap between the new kids on the block and the veterans like Stosur and Williams.

"Stosur, fun fact, was my first autograph ever," Gauff said.

"For Caty to play her was pretty cool. She's my first autograph ever. It was at the US Open, I remember it.

"Caty and I have a close relationship. Basically we're best friends on and off the court.

"We have a lot of fun. I'm excited. I don't know the score, but hopefully she pulls this out."

It wasn't the only moment in Gauff's presser that we were reminded just how young she is.

When asked what she gets up to besides tennis, she responded: "I don't know if you guys know, there's a new app called TikTok.

"I'm very active on that. I procrastinate a lot on that app.

"I have to do homework. I'm still procrastinating on that.

"I mean, everyone thinks I'm so serious because of my on-court. Really I'm not. I don't really take life too seriously. I mean, I just like to have fun."

Williams, whose most recent Grans Slam win was at Wimbledon in 2008, has high hopes for Gauff.

"She played well, just played very focused and put a lot of balls in the court," she said.

"That's what you have to do. She'll play well the rest of the event.

"She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age.

"I think the sky's the limit for her."

Earlier in the summer, Gauff and her dad went viral after she playfully scolded him for cursing when he said "damn" during the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Watch the moment below.

Last year at Wimbledon, her mum, a former track star, also went viral on social media for her emphatic celebrations.

Gauff spoke about her relationship with her parents after her debut Australian Open win on Monday.

"Before the match we always say a prayer. We just hope that I'm healthy, my opponent is healthy, that I have a good time out there," she said.

"I believe the last thing he really says to me before I go on court, he gives me a kiss on the cheek and he says, 'have fun.'

"That's it. Then after the match, yeah, 'congrats and I like the way your attitude was off the court.'

"He doesn't get too mad when I lose. It's more about how I act on the court. That's the biggest thing for him.

"I haven't seen my mum yet. She's more of the emotional one.

"She'll probably be crying or something, I don't know."

In photos: Australian Open through the years

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