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Tennis: Coco Gauff shares message for children from Auckland’s Jellicoe Park Tennis Club after ASB Classic triumph

Kids from Jellicoe Park Tennis Club give special gift that inspired Coco Gauff to ASB Classic title. Video / ASB Classic

Even after winning the ASB Classic, Coco Gauff continued to endear herself to the New Zealand public, sharing a video message for children from a local tennis club.

The American teenager, who blitzed the tournament to take the title home without dropping a set, visited Jellicoe Park Tennis Club in Manurewa ahead of the event and was gifted a greenstone pendant necklace and earrings.

After beating Rebeka Masarova 6-1, 6-1 in the final on Sunday night, Gauff made sure to put the earrings on before she was awarded the trophy and later recorded a video message for the young players of the club.

“Hi to all the kids I met at Jellicoe Park. I would like to say thank you for my amazing gift,” Gauff said in the video. “I made sure to bring them today and wear them. Regardless of the result, I’m glad that I got to the final to wear them and I’m super grateful.

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“I’m sure they brought me some good luck today, and I hope you guys are practicing hard, working hard and I hope you guys have a great 2023.

“I had a blast with you guys and hopefully next year I can come back and play some more games with you guys.”

The tournament in Auckland saw Gauff start her year off in the best possible way, only dropping 22 games across 10 sets of tennis, and only four between the semifinal and final.

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Gauff became just the fourth athlete to win the title without dropping a set since the tournament was added to the WTA international schedule in 2009, and the first to do so since Agnieszka Radwanska in 2013. She also became the first No 1 seed to win the tournament since Radwanska’s 2013 triumph.

“I was just fighting for every point, no matter the score, and really just enjoying the moment,” Gauff said. “I feel like each match I improved.”

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