Coco Gauff Names Rafael Nadal As Dream Mixed Doubles Partner

Coco Gauff Names Rafael Nadal As Dream Mixed Doubles Partner

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff was recently asked to name her dream mixed doubles partner, and she made an interesting choice.

Gauff, currently competing at the Indian Wells Open, will celebrate her 20th birthday on Wednesday this week. She booked her spot in the fourth round of the tournament by beating Italy's Lucia Bronzetti 6-2, 7-6 in an hour and 51 minutes.

After a clinical first set, the World No. 3 in the second set, after losing a 4-2 lead. But she regained her composure in the tie-break to prevail in straight sets. She will meet Elise Mertens in the next round after the Belgian prevented Naomi Osaka from setting up a blockbuster meeting.

In the evening, Gauff returned to the court to join compatriot Jessica Pegula in doubles. They clinched an incredible first set in a tie-break 12-10 against fellow Americans Caroline Dolehide and Desirae Krawczyk before running away with the match by breaking serve three times in the second set.

While known for her excellent track record in singles, Gauff is also a great doubles player. As recently as last season, she was ranked World No. 1 in that discipline. The 19-year-old has also featured sporadically in mixed doubles matches.

Last year, she was honored to play with Jack Sock in his final tournament as a professional but lost in the first round of the US Open. But a year before that, Gauff and Sock reached the semifinal of mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

Because of her wonderful chemistry and excellent retrieval skills, Gauff possesses the attributes to excel in doubles. When she was recently asked to name her dream partner, the American phenom sarcastically ruled out compatriot Ben Shelton.

Although she can see herself joining forces with the 21-year-old fast-rising ATP star, she wants to focus on singles for now. Gauff then called 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal as her "dream partner".

"For fun, I would just say Ben Shelton. Like, he's not a dream. That could easily happen. He's already asked me (laughing). Well, I have to focus on singles. It will happen one day, just not so soon. Probably Rafa Nadal (as dream partner)."

Gauff in an interview on BNP Paribas Open


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