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“When people are cheering it helps, I don't want to disappoint them; I don't want to lose being a brat on court and being mad at myself” - Coco Gauff after Canadian Open 3R win against Aryna Sabalenka

Coco Gauff is through to the quarterfinals of the 2022 Canadian Open
Coco Gauff is through to the quarterfinals of the 2022 Canadian Open
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Anirudh

Coco Gauff takes strength from having the crowd cheer for her, especially when she’s in a difficult position in a match, as she does not want to disappoint those who came out to support her.

On Thursday, Gauff beat sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(4) to reach the 2022 Canadian Open quarterfinals for the second consecutive year and also registered her third top-10 win of the year.

After leading by a 3-0 double break in the second set, the American had to come from 3-0 down in the third to emerge victorious. This is the second time in the space of as many days that she’s had to dig deep to seal a win. In the last round, the 18-year-old missed four match points in the second set and came from a break down to beat Elena Rybakina.

Speaking at her post-match press conference, Gauff said that she takes confidence from the fact that she can beat players of such high quality on the court, especially with the US Open scheduled to begin at the end of the month.

“Gives me a lot of confidence because I know I can tough it out in those tough moments. These are the type of players that I need to have to beat if I want to win a Grand Slam. These matches are giving me more confidence, especially from both matches I was down a break and had lost a lead. From having the lead, to not having the lead, to fighting back. I know how it feels in those moments against these players. I needed these matches leading up into the US Open. So if I have a tough moment, I can look back on this,” Gauff said.
Coco Gauff into the QFs.She was 4-2 40-0 up in the 2ndAnd then 0-3 down in the 3rd. 3h12.Incredible https://t.co/u01izYdgb6

The 18-year-old also spoke about how she takes strength from the crowd and how she does not want to disappoint people either by behaving badly or by not giving it her all on the court.

“It's nice going onto the court and it being jam-packed. I like when anybody watches me play. I'm grateful to play on the big courts, so that's cool too. When people are cheering for me I think it helps. These people waited three hours with me and I don't want to [disappoint them], not that if I lose I'm going to disappoint them. But I don't want to lose [while being a brat on the court and being mad at myself,” Coco Gauff said.
“It's usually looking at my laces or somebody in the crowd, like a little kid or something. And I try to tell myself, what would I want to see if I was that kid. And I wouldn't want to see someone being down,” she added.

Gauff now has a 30-14 win-loss record this season. She is through to her sixth quarterfinal of the year and fourth in her last five tournaments. She faces Simona Halep next, who beat Jil Teichmann 6-2, 7-5.


Canadian Open 3R defeat of Aryna Sabalenka the longest match in Coco Gauff’s career

Coco Gauff celebrates winning a point against Aryna Sabalenka at the 2022 Canadian Open
Coco Gauff celebrates winning a point against Aryna Sabalenka at the 2022 Canadian Open

Coco Gauff’s hard-fought win against Aryna Sabalenka at the Canadian Open is now the longest match of her young career. The contest lasted 3 hours and 11 minutes, overshadowing the two hours and 57 minutes she needed to beat Yulia Putintseva at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome last year.

This was also the second time Gauff and Sabalenka needed a third-set tie-break to decide a match, the latter winning 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(2) on the previous occasion in the second round of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open in 2020.

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With the win in Montreal, Gauff now leads Sabalenka 3-1 in the head-to-head.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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