http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2017-09-05/american_teen_gauff_impresses_in_junior_slam_debut.html13y5m Cori Gauff
Despite being just 13 years old, Coco looks, and plays, as though she's much older. A growth spurt over the past year has seen her shoot up four inches to 5-foot-10. With a wide wingspan and an improved backhand, she’s becoming a dangerous threat from either flank behind the baseline. Now, she’s focusing on her transition game and her volleys, something that will make her a more well-rounded player.
Coco credits her athleticism to her parents, even if her height is definitely from her dad.
"I've always been tall for my age," she said. “My mom's 5-5, but my dad's whole side of the family is 6-3 for the men and 5-10 or higher for the girls. Sport runs in my family. If I didn't play tennis, I'd definitely be playing a sport. "
Her dad, Corey, played Atlantic Sun Conference collegiate basketball for the Georgia State Panthers and still holds the school record for most steals in a game, while her mom, Candi, was an elite 110-meter hurdler and, before that, an award-winning dancer and talented gymnast.
I love this beginning of the article :lol:Sixteen-year-old Amanda Anisimova wants a junior slam title before she moves on to the pro tour. Thirteen-year-old Coco Gauff simply wants to win every tournament she enters. Both moved closer to those goals on Friday, posting straight-sets victories in the quarterfinals of the US Open Junior Championships.
Gauff has the attitude/mindset of a championCoco Gauff is playing in her first junior slam main draw, and this is only her fourth ITF junior event. But in her quarterfinal match today, Gauff faced another precocious wild card, 15-year-old Katie Volynets, who had beaten Gauff 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals of USTA 18s Clay Courts back in July. Today she turned the tables on Volynets, earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory and a place in Saturday's semifinals against Maria Carle of Argentina, who took out No. 3 seed Elena Rybakina of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
"It definitely motivated me," Gauff said of the loss to Volynets in Memphis. "I played a little different today. I was still hitting my shots, but I was more consistent than last time, going for safer targets, not trying to go for the lines. I knew I could beat her if I just stayed calm and didn't make as many unforced errors."
Gauff, who made the final of the Grade 1 in College Park Maryland last month, said she is not surprised to find herself in the semifinals.
"Every tournament I play, I play to win it," Gauff said. "I never go into a tournament thinking oh, second round would be good enough. I always think I can win it. And even if I'm proud of myself for making it this far, of course I always want to do my best and make it to the end."
Gauff said she is not familiar with Carle's game, but will ask her father for a scouting report.
"I'm sure my dad will tell me how she plays after," said Gauff. "He went and watched her matches at College Park, so I think I'll have a good game plan going into the match."
Cori Gauff is right where she expects to be, thank you. And that just happens to be in the US Open Junior Girls’ singles title match.
“Every tournament I play I play to win,” the 13-year-old American said. “Making the semifinals is great, but my goal is to win the tournament.”
That could be Sunday when the lanky youngster takes on fellow American Amanda Anisimova, who beat Colombia’s Emiliana Arango 6-4, 6-1 in her semifinal on the hard courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. After a slow start, Gauff got her game into high gear to wipe aside Maria Lourdes Carle of Argentina 7-5, 6-0.
“If I have a goal, it’s to win the tournament,” Gauff said. “I don’t limit myself to reaching the second or third round.”
Of course, this is the same young woman who, when asked about her long-range plans, said, “I want to be the greatest of all time.”
It’s the third straight Grand Slam tournament where the junior girls’ final has been an all-American affair. Whitney Osuigwe beat Claire Liu for the French Open title, with Liu stopping Ann Li for the top prize at Wimbledon.
Anisimova was seeded fourth in the 64-player draw, while Gauff, not surprisingly, was unseeded.
Anisimova said she was to blame for her problems early in her match against Arango. “I had a slow start,” the American said. “I didn’t know what was going on. But then I started playing a little smarter.”
Although disappointed in losing, Arango was happy with her week.
“It was a pretty good week,” the South American said, noting her run to the semifinals was unexpected. “It just didn’t end the way I wanted.”
And that brings us back to the supremely confident Gauff.
“I made a couple of unforced errors and got a little bit nervous” at the beginning of her encounter against the 17-year-old Carle, who also was playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal. “Dad talked me down. I tried to keep focus and play like it’s my last point,” Gauff said.
Carle was impressed with her opponent.
“I played good, but she plays very good,” Carle said of Gauff. “I am very happy reaching the semifinals. I realize I can play with the best.”
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Americans Gauff and Anisimova Meet for US Open Girls Title
For the third consecutive junior slam, the championship match will feature two American girls, with 13-year-old Coco Gauff challenging 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova for the US Open girls title.
No. 4 seed Anisimova defeated unseeded Emiliana Arango of Colombia 6-4, 6-1 to earn her second trip to a junior final, while wild card Gauff won the final nine games of the match to beat unseeded Maria Carle of Argentina 7-5, 6-0 on a cool and sunny day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
As she had in her quarterfinal win, Anisimova fell behind early, but after trailing Arango 3-1, she broke the 16-year-old three consecutive times to take the first set.
“I don’t know what’s going on with that,” Anisimova said of her slow starts. “I felt pretty confident with my game today.”
Anisimova hadn’t played Arango before and needed some time to assess the appropriate strategy.
“She was getting a lot of balls back so it was difficult to play her,” Anisimova said. “She had good anticipation of my shots, so it was pretty tough in the beginning. But I just started playing a little bit smarter. I scattered the ball around the court, not just going deep on everything, using variety.”
The parallels between Anisimova, who reached the French Open girls final at age 14, and Gauff, who is the youngest girl ever to reach US Open junior final, are unmistakable, but even Anisimova is impressed with the precocity of Gauff.
“This is an incredible run for her,” said Anisimova, who had played just one main draw match at a junior slam before reaching the French final in 2016. “I can’t imagine playing the finals at 13. She’s an amazing player and I have a lot of respect for her. I played her last year at Hard Courts, but I’m sure she’s improved a lot since then. I think she’s a powerful hitter, so I’m just going out playing my game, as I usually do, and see how it goes.”
Gauff admitted that nerves cost her the 4-2 lead she had built up in the opening set.
“I made a couple of unforced errors and lost the 4-3 game, and I got a little bit nervous,” Gauff said. “But once I got to 4-5, I talked to my dad and he calmed me down, and after that I didn’t lose a game.”
Carle’s slice did present a challenge for Gauff, but staying in the long rallies with Carle proved to be a psychological boost for Gauff.
“I won most of the long rallies and I think that brought her down a little bit,” Gauff said. “Her game plan was to make me hit as many balls as possible and once I started winning those long rallies, she tried to do other things and I started moving forward and closing at the net. I tried changing the height of the ball, not give her a steady ball. I think the strongest part of her game was her slice; I haven’t played that many players, especially girls, who have a good slice like that, who hit as many slices as her. I think her game plan was to hit slices to my backhand and move me out to my forehand. That’s what she was doing in the first set and it was working, but I figured it out and settled in.”
Gauff is anticipating a hard-hitting battle in Sunday’s final.
“I know she’s a very powerful hitter, but I think if I play my best and stay calm, I’ll hopefully be able to pull out the win,” said Gauff, who is playing in her first main draw of a junior slam. “Even though this is the finals, I try to think of it as a first round match and I’m looking forward to playing it. All I want to do is have fun out there.”
10 Sep 2017
Anisimova & Wu win US Open juniors trophies
By Rene Denfeld
Amanda Anisimova of the USA and Yibing Wu of China emerged victorious in the Girls' and Boys' Junior events at the US Open.
Anisimova defeated compatriot Cori Gauff, the youngest girls' finalist in US Open history, in straight sets with a 62 60 triumph. Wu managed to upset Argentinian top seed Axel Geller 64 64, thus sweeping singles as well as doubles to become the first male junior Slam champion of his country.
If yesterday's all-American showdown between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys was a snapshot of the current state of American tennis, today's girls’ singles finals between Anisimova and Gauff provided a glimpse into the promising future of the host nation.
At the end, however, it was the experience of 16-year-old Anisimova that proved to be too overwhelming for Gauff - even if the final game of the 62 60 contest was as dramatic and hard-fought as possible.
"That last game was crazy. Possibly the longest game of my life", said Anisimova, the 2016 Roland Garros girls' runner-up, smiling, after winning her first Grand Slam title.
Anisimova converted her 10th Championship point after a forehand from Gauff sailed beyond the baseline. The 16-year-old made her main draw Slam debut at Roland Garros a few months ago and cites this year's experiences on the pro tour as one of the main reasons for her development.
"I think my mind kind of changed,” Anisimova said. “You know, I started focusing more and acting more like a professional. Everything is so different up there. I think that prepared me a lot for this junior slam, because before last year I don't think I was as good as I am now.”
Despite the loss, it was a strong showing for the 13-year-old Gauff, who entered the event with a wild card and didn't lose a set in the lead up to the finals, and a week to remember.
"Every single part of it was so much fun, being on-site, being here, being -- just being at the US Open in New York was the most fun. I enjoyed every single part being here," Gauff explained after the finals.
Both Americans kept an eye on Florida while competing for the title at the US Open with Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc over the Sunshine State this weekend.
"It's really bad in Florida,” Animisova said. “I'm really praying for everyone there. My mom had to evacuate my grandma to go to a different state. It's pretty upsetting that she couldn't be here with me, but I was also fighting and trying to win it for her, too.”
Anisimova will next head to Budapest for the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas with Whitney Osuigue and Caty McNally and Coach Erik Kortland. She plans to reach the Top 150 in the WTA rankings by the end of this year - this was her final Grand Slam playing juniors.
The Girls' Doubles US Open was won by Olga Danilovic of Serbia and Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk. The top seeds defeated Lea Boskovic of Croatia and Xiyu Wang of China 61 75, saving three set points in the second set. Both Danilovic and Kostyuk are planning to stop competing in junior events at Slams after this US Open.
"It's actually good to win something and finish because then you have good memories," Kostyuk said. The Ukrainian won the Australian Open girls' singles event earlier this year. Danilovic lifted the girls’ doubles trophies at the French Open and Wimbledon this year.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Anisimova Downs Gauff for US Open Girls Championship
After a discouraging loss in the first round of women's qualifying, 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova was determined to end her three weeks in New York with a better result. After beating 13-year-old wild card Coco Gauff 6-0, 6-2 in the first all-American US Open girls final since 1992, Anisimova will leave junior tennis having reached the goal she set for herself this week.
"That's definitely my goal when I was going into this tournament, and I was preparing a lot for it," said Anisimova, who didn't drop a set in her six victories. "After a tough loss in the qualies, I definitely wanted to achieve something big. This is just amazing, and I'm so happy that I won the title."
Anisimova, who reached the final of the French Open Juniors in 2016 as a 14-year-old, showed no nerves to start the match, and in 22 minutes she had taken the first six games of the match.
With her depth and pace, Anisimova kept Gauff from getting comfortable in any rally, with Gauff attributing the lopsided first set not to her own nerves, but to Anisimova's level.
"I wasn't really nervous before," said Gauff, who was playing in the main draw of a junior slam for the first time this week. "She came out playing well and I wasn't playing that good in the beginning. Then after, I think the momentum was definitely on her side and I didn't play that good. But still, she played amazing. Congrats to her."
Gauff didn't have a game point until the second game of the second set, when she held serve for the first time. That seemed to encourage Gauff, but another break of serve by Anisimova after Gauff went up 40-0 seemed to end her chances of a comeback. Gauff showed life in the next game however, breaking Anisimova with a backhand winner, but was broken again in the next game.
Anisimova targeted Gauff's backhand when serving, and Gauff continued to have difficulty getting the return back, consistently putting her cross court returns into the net. Anisimova held for 5-2, but the next game was a classic, extending for over 12 minutes while Gauff fought off nine match points in the 11-deuce game before finally sending a forehand long to give Anisimova the title.
"That last game was crazy, possibly the longest game of my life," Anisimova said. "From the first shot, they were long points, so it was pretty difficult. We were just playing really well in that game, so it was really tough."
"I tried my best to save as many as possible, and I had a couple of game points on my side too," Gauff said. "But you know, I tried not to think of it as match points, just tried to keep playing the match. I thought I would be able to make it out of that game, but it was a good game though."
Anisimova is the third straight American girl to win a junior slam title this year, following Whitney Osuigwe at the French Open and Claire Liu at Wimbledon, with 2017 the first time three different US girls have captured junior slams in the same year. After playing the Junior Fed Cup in Budapest beginning on September 19th with Caty McNally and Osuigwe as teammates, Anisimova will leave junior tennis behind, with her goal for the remainder of the year moving into the WTA Top 150 from her current position at 182.
"I'm not going to get too ahead of myself," said Anisimova, who will need to adhere to the WTA age restrictions for two more years. "I'm just going to take one tournament at a time and just see how they go. I just really want to play in some main draw tournaments at slams. That would be my goal for next year."
Gauff, who has not turned pro and said she doesn't foresee that "any time soon," plans to play the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl later this year, as she builds her ITF junior ranking. She is unable to compete in any ITF Women's Pro Circuit events until next March, when she turns 14.
After celebrating in the city with her sister, friends and family, Anisimova will return to the Miami area, if Hurricane Irma allows, before heading to Budapest. Gauff is planning to stay in the New York area for a couple of days with her hometown of Delray Beach also bracing for the impact of the storm.
"I'm praying for all the victims out in Florida and on the islands, that they stay safe during the storm," Gauff said.
Serbia's Danilovic and partner Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine, the No. 1 seeds, defeated the unseeded team of Lea Boskovic of Croatia and Xiyu Wang of China 6-1, 7-5 to earn the title.
Danilovic, who won the Wimbledon title in July with Kaja Juvan of Slovenia and the French title last year with Paula Arias Manjon of Spain, was looking for a partner when Juvan opted not to play in New York.
Kostyuk and Danilovic had played together at the Australian Open earlier this year, losing in the second round, but were just getting to know each other then.
"In Australia, we didn't know each other," Kostyuk said. "At Orange Bowl, the month before Australia, we didn't even say hi to each other. I was actually scared of Olga, going like, Olga's a superstar."
"We were like, hey I'm Olga, I'm Marta, and then we went on the court," Danilovic said of that Australian Open pairing. "I think the most important thing is that we know each other and we're good friends, so when you have a friendship like that, it works on the court."
Kostyuk, 15, and Danilovic, 16, were taken to a match tiebreaker in their first match, but did not have to play another one.
"In the first round, we had really good opponents," Danilovic said of Taylor Johnson and Mexico's Maria Portillo Ramirez. "They were playing really good, really hard serves. But match by match, it gets so much easier. You get to know when she moves, when she goes and it's much more easier."
Danilovic and Kostyuk trailed Boskovic and Wang 5-2 in the second set and saved three set points en route to taking the final five games of the match.
Kostyuk and Danilovic said they are unlikely to play together again, anticipating that this US Open will mark the end of their junior careers.
"We're both finished with juniors," Kostyuk said. "Maybe we will [play] something but our ways are going a bit separate," Danilovic said.
"This couldn't be better," said Danilovic. "To finish my last match--I think it's going to be my last junior match; I don't want to say this is the end, but I think it is--to win, not bad."
"It's actually good to win something when you finish," said Kostyuk. "Because then you have good memories."