Teenage Tennis Prodigy Coco Gauff Receives Advice From Michelle Obama - UBITENNIS
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Teenage Tennis Prodigy Coco Gauff Receives Advice From Michelle Obama

It was a week to remember for the rising star in Washington.

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Michelle Obama and Cori Gauff (photo via Twitter, @MichelleObama)

Last week will be forever in the memory of 15-year-old Coco Gauff. Not only did she win her maiden WTA title in the doubles alongside Catherine McNally, she got to speak to one of her idols.

 

Last Thursday the teenager took some time away from the Citi Open in Washington to meet Michelle Obama. The former first lady of the United States of America. During the Wimbledon Championships, Gauff said she was ‘super excited’ when Obama mentioned her in a tweet. At the grand slam, the American became the youngest ever player to come through qualifying before reaching the fourth round. Losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.

“She’s one of my role models,” Gauff said of Obama at The All England Club. “So it was just cool to see that she knows I exist.”

The two exchanged gifts during their first face-to-face meeting last Thursday. Gauff handed the former first lady a signed racket. In return, she received a signed copy of Obama’s first book. The two reportedly spoke about dealing with being in the media spotlight, as well as other things. After they spoke, Obama described the teenager as ‘a wonderful young woman who’s showing us that we don’t have to wait to see what the next generation can do.’

“I got to meet my idol @michelleobama,” wrote Gauff on Instagram. “Her words and wisdom on my journey will stay with me on the court over the course of my career. She is a true inspiration. I have never arrived, I am always becoming! Thank you for your time.”

https://twitter.com/CocoGauff/status/1157036178060861452

The rising star was also given some valuable advice. During an interview with news website Think Progress, Gauff said she received tips on how to cope with a surge in her popularity and the subsequent demand by the media.

“She just told me to stay focused and stay calm, and that people aren’t going to like you all the time. And the same people that might be cheering for you might be the same people that might be pulling you down in the future,” Gauff said. “So she just told me just to only care really about the opinions of the people who actually love and care about me.”

Gauff is currently ranked 142nd in the world and has become one of the most sought after tennis players despite her young age. She already has endorsement deals with companies such as Barilla, Head and New Balance. Earlier this year Forbes Magazine estimates the value of those contracts to be worth in the range of $1 million.

Managed by Team8, which is a company co-founded by Roger Federer, the hype surrounding Gauff is showing no signs of easing off. Ahead of the US Open she will play world No.1 Ash Barty in an exhibition match in Winston-Salem. There is also speculation that Gauff will be given a US Open wild card despite the WTA’s age eligibility rule that limits how many tournaments young players can play in order to prevent early burnout.

The exhibition match between Gauff and Barty will take place on August 21st.

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Maria Sharapova will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo

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Maria Sharapova is set to miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, as she has committed to play the World Team Tennis at Orange County Breakers in the United States from 28 to 29 July during the same week as the Tokyo event.

 

“I am excited to be back with the Breakers again. The competition in World Tennis is always strong and I am looking forward to playing in team format again”, said Sharapova.

Before the US Open 2019 the five-time Grand Slam champion appointed new coach Riccardo Piatti in her team.

Sharapova has announced that she will be playing in several exhibition matches like the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, the Hawaii Open and the Kooyong Classic before the Australian Open.

 

 

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Stan Wawrinka, Daniel Medvedev, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils set to highlight the Diryah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia

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Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Danil Medvedev and Fabio Fognini are set to take part in the Diryah Tennis Cup, the first ever professional tennis tournament, which takes place from 12 to 14 December 2020.

 

Diriyah is a UNESCO World Tennis Heritage Site will host a hard-court tournament at the Diryah Arena, where the boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Antony Ruiz took place last weekend.

The exhibition tournament will feature Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Danil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin, Lucas Pouille, John Isner and this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille.

Medvedev is the highest ranked player in the Saudi Arabia tournament. The Russian player won four titles in Sofia, Montreal and St. Petersburg and Shanghai and reached the final at the US Open finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

“Saudi Arabia will be a big part of my preparation for the new season. The heat and the conditions will be similar to Australia. It will be a great test for us. It’s in our preseason, so we will want to get that match time in to prepare for the new season. The fans should expect us to fight hard like in any tournament. It will be competitive and hopefully they will be lots of fans coming to support us there. Hopefully I can play some great tennis, help the country raise awareness of the sport and inspire people to play. Looking at the players confirmed it’s a really great field. I have heard a lot of good things about Saudi Arabia. I am excited to promote tennis there especially as it’s the first tournament”, said Medvedev.

Wawrinka won three Grand Slam tournaments at the 2014 Australian Open, at 2015 Roland Garros and at the 2016 US Open. This year the Swiss player finished runner-up to Gael Monfils in Rotterdam and to Andy Murray in Antwerp. Wawrinka reached the French Open quarter final. He upset Novak Djokovic in the US Open fourth round before losing to eventual finalist Danil Medvedev. He ended the season ranked world number 16.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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