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Rafael Nadal offers advice to Cori Gauff after debut US Open win


Rafael Nadal has been impressed by Cori Gauff (Picture: Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal has been impressed by the performances of young American Cori “Coco” Gauff and advised her to keep her new-found stardom in perspective as she competes at her home Grand Slam.

Gauff fought back from a set down against fellow junior major winner Anastasia Potapova to book her spot in the second round of the US Open, much to the delight of the American crowd.

The 15-year-old already has legions of fans backing her following a stunning breakout at Wimbledon in the summer. Having become the youngest player to qualify at the All England Club in the Open Era, she then stormed on to the fourth round before being stopped by eventual champion Simona Halep.

Nadal – who beat John Millman in straight sets to reach the second round – knows exactly what it’s like to be a teenage tennis star and told Gauff to take things ‘step by step’ in order to keep herself grounded.

He said: ‘I saw her a couple of days playing Wimbledon. I think she is very strong to be – she’s 15?

Cori Gauff won her first match at the US Open (Picture: Corbis via Getty Images)

‘She’s tall and she has a lot of power. I think she has a great intensity playing. Let’s see. Of course, looks like she has an amazing future in front. I really wish her all the very best.

‘Is tough to put lot of pressure on her now or talk too much about her now. Even if she’s doing amazing things, she is very young.

‘In my opinion, she needs to internalise the things step by step. If not, is easy to lose a little bit the perspective. I really hope that she has the right people around, and she will become a big star of this sport for sure.’

Gauff, who plays Timea Babos next, was understandably delighted to record her first Slam win on home soil.

She said: ‘I mean, it was crazy. Obviously I was nervous going out on the court. It’s such a big court. Then my home Slam, so I wanted to do well.

‘The crowd really helped me the whole match. Like, it was really a great atmosphere to play in and a great experience for me.’





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