‘Just a Number’: Coco Gauff Unbothered with Rankings After Shock Loss at Australian Open 2022

Published 01/18/2022, 2:07 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Coco Gauff of the United States looks on during her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Sofia Kenin of the United States on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, the 17-year-old American Star, isn’t having the best start to her 2022 season. The World No. 16 reached the semi-final of the Adelaide International 2, before losing to compatriot Madison Keys.

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Moreover, Coco, who had a great first-round record for all Grand Slam events played, exited the Australian Open in the very first round. She lost to Chinese player Wang Qiang in straight sets, 4-6, 2-6. In her post-match press conference, Coco was all praises for Wang Qiang, acknowledging her opponent’s skills.

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Rankings do not matter to Coco Gauff

Talking about her opponent not being in the top 100 of the WTA, Gauff said, “ranking is just a number”. When asked if Qiang’s performance came as a surprise, the American star stated that it didn’t.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 17, 2022. China’s Wang Qiang and Coco Gauff of the U.S. after their first round match. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

After all, the two have already met twice, and Coco Gauff knew what to expect from Qiang.

“I knew that she is capable of playing great tennis,” Coco said about her opponent. Gauff then acknowledged the difference in ranking between the two.

“Obviously paper-wise, I’m supposed to win the match,” she said. Then, she talked about how things were back when she ranked lower than she is today. “I was always thinking ranking is just a number and anybody’s capable of winning anything,” Gauff shared.

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Especially, after the US Open, Gauff believes the world saw it in practice when the finalists were both unranked players, Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. “Ranking-wise, I wasn’t really thinking about me being ranked higher (than Wang),” Coco said.

Gauff will focus prepare better for Grand Slam events, going forward

Talking about what went wrong for her in Melbourne, Gauff shared how this was the first time in her career that she played a tournament so close to a Grand Slam.

Having played the Adelaide International 2 tournament right before the Australian Open might not have been the best decision for Gauff. “This is the first Grand Slam that I kind of played a tournament before, like, really close,” Gauff smiled and said.

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Now, Coco Gauff is set to begin her doubles campaign with compatriot Caty McNally against the Ukrainian pair of Marta Kostyuk and Dayana Yastremska. How far do you think the American partners will go?

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WATCH THIS STORY: Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty, and Other Tennis Stars Reaction to Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Controversy

 

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Samarveer Singh

470 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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