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Tennis world: Coco Gauff Says She’s ‘Ecstatic’ About Becoming Friends with Fellow Tennis Pro…

“On Instagram, she’s always commenting on my stuff, and it’s pretty cool,” Coco Gauff tells PEOPLE.

 

 

The 17-year-old tennis player and American Eagle ambassador reveals she is in touch with both Venus and her sister, Serena Williams, saying, “We all talk.”

However, she adds that she’s gotten particularly close to Venus.

“Definitely on Instagram, [Venus is] always commenting on my stuff, and it’s pretty cool,” Gauff says. “She always mentions me on her lives or interviews, and I’m like, ‘This is crazy.’ Every time, I would say I’m pretty ecstatic when she does that because I don’t expect it at all.”

The teenage athlete also discusses her success in her sport at such a young age. Gauff is the youngest player ranked in the top 100 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), listed as world No. 16 in singles.

“It’s definitely a different amount of pressure, I would say,” she admits. “Most of the time, I’m still younger than most of the opponents I play — or, actually, pretty much everyone I’ve played I’ve been younger than, and way less experienced. But I’ve been the favorite to win, and that’s definitely a transition that I would say that was kind of hard to make: to being the underdog, to then being the favorite.”

Gauff says that she still has some career goals to check off her list, including another collaboration with Venus. Last year, the two teamed up in the French Open after Gauff’s usual partner, Caty McNally, withdrew after suffering a knee injury.

When asked if she and Venus have made any plans to work together again, she responds, “I haven’t spoken to her about it. I mean, obviously, if she asked, I would definitely team up with her. I mean, you can’t say no to that.”

Of playing with Venus, she recalls, “I remember her telling me, ‘You’re the only person that I teamed up with besides Serena in women’s doubles.’ And I was like, ‘That’s an honor. That’s an honor.’ I didn’t realize she didn’t play with anyone else. I mean, I just didn’t even think about it. And I was like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool.’ ”

She adds, “I would say that was probably even more incredible than actually playing her, just because, I mean, I dreamed about playing them, but I never thought that I would play doubles with them. And yeah, that was crazy.”

Gauff also says she’s still in shock that she’s partnered with American Eagle — a brand she was a fan of growing up — for their Members Always campaign, which promotes inclusivity.

“Everyone can be included in everything,” she says of Members Always. “It’s just expressing that, no matter what you look like or where you’re from, that you can be included. And that this collection is for everyone to wear, and anyone can wear it.”

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