‘Grateful to be here’

Coco Gauff wants to call upon her childhood dreams as she tries to go one better at Wimbledon than her French Open final appearance earlier this month.

Gauff lost out to Iga Swiatek at Roland-Garros after an impressive couple of weeks in Paris, and she looks to be among the favourites on her favoured grass surface.

Gauff famously reached the Wimbledon fourth round in 2019 at just 15 years old, an event where she made her name.

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Her progression since then – under the weight of expectation – has been full of ups and downs, but featuring on a campaign showcasing Wimbledon’s centenary made her step back and realise how far she has come.

Speaking ahead of her first-round match against Elena-Gabriela Ruse on Tuesday, Gauff said: “I did not expect the [centenary] graphic to come out beforehand.

“I saw it for the first time and I was almost about to cry because it just really takes you back. I feel like growing up – and not just as a tennis player, I’m a young adult now – we kind of forget our childhood dreams a little bit.

“And that reminded me of that and reminded me of being grateful of being here.

“The relationship with this tournament is something that I feel like the rest of the world remembers, and that obviously me I remember the most.

“That experience in 2019 was something I will never forget.”

Aside from her tennis Gauff uses her global profile to speak out on a wide range of issues, and she did so just this week on the topic of abortion, which has now been banned in multiple US states following a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court.

She said: “I think it’s really important for me to use my platform in the best way that I can, just because I know so many people of all ages are watching me and watching what I say so I try to use it carefully, but also use it in a way to voice my opinion on things that I truly do care about.

“And I always try to make sure I have all the information on hand before I actually tweet or say something in an interview just because I want to make sure that my opinion is something that I can support. And also I don’t want to hop on a bandwagon or anything like that.

Coco Gauff of the United States in action against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in her quarter-final match on Day 5 of the bett1open 2022 Berlin, Part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at LTTC Rot-Weiß e.V. on June 17, 2022 in Berlin, Germany

Image credit: Getty Images

“So I try to do my best to use this platform as responsibly as I can and I think I’ve been doing it pretty well.”

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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.

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