‘Ben and Sebi Had the Worst..’-Coco Gauff Justifies Her Stance on the USTA Controversy With a Care-Free Jibe

Published 01/15/2024, 2:45 AM EST

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American tennis star Coco Gauff expressed her disappointment over the United States Tennis Association’s caricature of her colleagues Ben Shelton and Sebastian Korda. Before the start of the Australian Open 2024, the USTA made a post drawing the potential American tennis stars as cartoons. Inspired by Wild Thornberry, this post was meant to hail the American tennis stars before this season’s debut Grand Slam event.

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However, Coco Gauff didn’t like it much. In fact, she revealed her feelings after seeing the faces of Ben Shelton and Sebastian Korda. Gauff recently expressed that to her fans. Want to know what was her initial reaction?

Coco Gauff called Ben Shelton and Sebastian Korda’s caricature by USTA “awful”

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In a recent interview, Gauff was asked whether she was mad at USTA for such a caricature post. In response, she said- “Oh, people thought I was being serious, that I was actually mad with it. And I realize TikTok humor is very different than Twitter. I saw somebody posted, like, There’s no way she’s that (indiscernible) over it. I was like, no, I wasn’t mad. We looked awful (smiling).”

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She further added her first impression with the post. Gauff said- “And actually, I saw Ben post first on his story. Then I DM’d Ben immediately and I was like, What is this? Then Jess started texting me. We were just, like, laughing at each person, we were laughing at Sebi’s, I think Ben and Sebi had the worst ones.”

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“I know it was from a cartoon, and the artist, like, did great with the cartoon. I just don’t know if I want myself drawn as that art style. I said I would prefer, like, Brad’s because they look good and they are fashion and everything. But we did not look good at all (smiling).” 

Gauff’s statement expressed that she wasn’t mad truly, rather she was amused. In fact, later in that interview, she adds how she made fun of that post after her practice sessions.

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‘I was just bored…making fun of it’ – Gauff reveals the truth

Later in that interview, Coco Gauff delves into details about her reactions. From the statement, fans can understand that rather than being mad over the caricature, Coco Gauff was intrigued to know why UTSA would make something to encourage them for AO. Such a caricature would make sense for comic relief.

She commented- “Usually, USTA always does the seed, the hype posts or whatever before the slams. I was, like, they all should have posted this on April Fool’s Day or something. It was a funny thing in the chat. Then I was literally, I practiced at 10:00 and then I was back in my room at 1:00 and I didn’t leave my room until this morning, so I was quite literally deep on my phone. So, yeah, I was just bored and commenting and making fun of it, because everybody else was making fun of us how bad we looked..”

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Despite directly speaking out about Ben Shelton and Sebastian Korda’s ugly caricature, Gauff thanked the original inspiration behind the style. She expressed that she looked funny and she wasn’t mad. However, USTA’s response about making the American tennis star’s funny faces might help Gauff to understand their objective.

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Written by:

Upasana Banerjee

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One take at a time

I began my journey as a tennis writer at EssentiallySports after 6.5 years in content creation, including both sports and non-sports topics, gaining wide-ranging expertise. To date, I have contributed more than 600 articles, in both tennis and esports.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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