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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday September 27, 2020

 
Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff knocked off No.9-seeded Johanna Konta to earn her first career main draw win in Paris.

Photo Source: Getty

Coco Gauff has made a habit out of making stunning debuts and this year in Paris she isn’t about to let the rainy, dreary autumn weather curtail that trend.

Tennis Express

The 16-year-old American topped Johanna Konta, a semifinalist last year and the No.9 seed, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Gauff, ranked 53 at the moment, raced out to a 2-0 lead in set one and then hung on through a difficult 20-point game while serving at 5-3, saving two break points to serve out a tight opening set.

Konta took the 2-0 lead in the second set but it was Gauff who responded, winning five straight games to lead 5-2. The American couldn’t serve out the victory but broke the British No.1 a game later to clinch the win.

Conditions were the talk of Day 1, with blustery cold conditions slowing down the pace of play and leaving players feeling frigid. Gauff said she did an intense 20-minute workout just to ensure that she wouldn’t tighten up during the match.

“I mean, other than the wind, like the coldness and everything was obviously a factor, but I guess when you're out there on the court, I mean, you do feel the cold,” she said. “I don't know, when you're moving, it's not so much. When we sit on the changeovers, you can literally feel the difference when you're not moving, when you're staying still.”

Gauff was the more consistent player in the contest. She hit 14 winners against 26 unforced errors against 22 winners and 41 unforced for Konta.

The American said some words of wisdom from her father and coach helped her overcome her nerves at the start of the match.

“Honestly, my dad told me something in the warmup,” she said. “He was just telling me, like, You're living your dream, so just enjoy and have fun. His goal was to become an NBA player, and he didn't make it. He told me, You're living your dream, not everybody gets to do that, just have fun on the court. That really changed my perspective. I was really nervous going into the match. That just calmed me down. I realized it's just a tennis match. I'm doing some things that people wish they could do. Just go out there and enjoy it.”


Gauff will face Italy’s Martina Trevisan in the second round. The qualifier knocked off Camila Giorgi 7-5, 3-0 RET on Day 1.

 

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