Coco Gauff joked that the thought of losing in front of Justin Bieber inspired her US Open comeback against Elise Mertens on Friday night.

Gauff produced a fine fightback to reach the US Open fourth round and keep alive her hopes of winning a first Grand Slam title. 

The 19-year-old dropped the first set but dug deep to turn the match around, winning 3-6 6-3 6-0 in front of a crowd that included pop star Bieber, his wife Hailey and NBA star Jimmy Butler.

After the match, Gauff said she was aware of the A-listers cheering her on. In fact, she said their presence drove her to win the last 10 games.

‘I definitely saw who was there,’ Gauff told ESPN. ‘I was like: “Oh my goodness, Justin Bieber!” At that point it was 2-3 in the second set. I thought: “I cannot lose in front of Justin Bieber”. I didn’t lose a game after I saw that!’

Coco Gauff joked that Justin Bieber inspired her US Open comeback win over Elise Mertens

Coco Gauff joked that Justin Bieber inspired her US Open comeback win over Elise Mertens

Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler watched alongside Bieber and his wife Hailey Bieber

Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler watched alongside Bieber and his wife Hailey Bieber 

‘I got a little tight when I first saw him, then I reminded myself that President Obama and Michelle Obama were at my first round match… I’m fan-girling right now.’

The Obamas watched her comeback against Laura Siegemund on opening night. She had to battle back in round one, too, and after reaching the last 16, Gauff admitted she was ‘starstuck’ by Bieber.

‘”Never Say Never” was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid. And then “Baby, Oh Baby”… I could go through all his songs,’ she said. 

‘And then Hailey coming too – I guess it was a little date night for them which is really cool.’

Gauff came back after dropping the first set to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the third-round match

Gauff came back after dropping the first set to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the third-round match

She added: ‘Jimmy Butler has come to a couple of my matches so I wasn’t as surprised that he was there. But I’m still like: “This guy is busy. Why is he coming to watch me play?!” But it’s a really cool experience.”

The 19-year-old also paid tribute to the crowd in New York. ‘The energy today definitely helped me. I felt you guys,’ said Gauff. ‘I played every point my hardest.’

‘When you lose the first set you know you have to show that you left all that energy in the first set and you’re ready to play… after I lost the first set I told myself: there is still a lot of game left and a lot of the match to play.’

‘Elise was playing well and I tried my best to win in three sets – give me some credit. The last couple of weeks I was winning in straight sets. So a win is a win – it doesn’t matter how you get it and I’m just happy.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Cara Delevingne teases a glimpse of her cleavage in plunging black outfits as she goes from day-to-night at Jack Antonoff and Margaret Qualley’s New Jersey Wedding

Cara Delevingne was one of the many celebrity guests who attended Jack Antonoff and…

Bungling accused drug smuggler drops $45million brick of cocaine on ocean floor

An accused drug smuggler who allegedly dropped a $45million brick of cocaine…

Stroke: Four prescription medications ‘related to a higher risk’ of the deadly condition

Antidepressants Early research has suggested that some antidepressants are linked to a…

Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary reveals EXACTLY how much of your salary you should be putting into a 401(K) each year – and how you can end up with over one and a half MILLION in retirement

Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary has revealed how much of your salary you…