Gauff originally hails from that part of the country before she relocated further south to Florida. It's been a nice experience for Gauff to relax a bit and forget about tennis following the Sunshine Double where she didn't do all that well.
Playing in the Billie Jean King Cup was something she enjoyed doing and getting a chance to do that near where she was born is great for her. Speaking ahead of the clash to AP, Gauff admitted that she's quite familiar with the area so she can sense the home advantage.
Definitely feels like a home-court advantage. I'm very familiar with the area ... so definitely more comfortable with the surroundings, probably, than the Austrians are.
The US are a huge favourite against the visiting Austrians for many reasons. They have objectively the stronger squad and they play on courts which likely favour their style of tennis far more than the Austrians do. Playing on home soil certainly aids in all of that. Even so, Gauff cautioned against taking the tie lightly.
We go in confident, yes, but we don't expect anything to be easy. The moment you take your opponent for granted is the moment you lost the match. So we're going to step in preparing for the match like we're playing the No. 1 team in the world.
The Team Captain Kathy Rinaldi echoed what Guaff said explaining that she cautioned the team against underestimating their opponents. Being at home in front of home fans is a pretty powerful experience and all the players are ready to give their max.
We're not going to go in there and underestimate our opponents. With Billie Jean King Cup, players tend to play their best — and that's what we're expecting. When you're playing for a team and for your country, it's pretty powerful. Everybody respects our opponents and we're still preparing as we would for any other tie.