Tennis prodigy, Coco Gauff, recently shut down day one at the US Open. Although she walked away with the win, it didn’t necessarily come easy. When the 19-year-old noticed that there was a violation of the rules during her match against Laura Siegemund, she decided to address it with the umpire on the spot.
Coco Gauff Standing Up For Herself
Gauff approached umpire Marijana Veljovic during the third set to share her frustrations. She believed that Veljovic wasn’t properly enforcing the time violation rules when it came to Siegemund’s pace during the match. She believed that her opponent was taking too much time to get ready in between points.
There’s a fairly new rule in tennis that states players have 25 seconds to initiate their serve. The amount of time is shown on a shot clock so that everyone is able to see how much time a player takes in between points.
When it was time for Siegemund’s serve, the shot clock reached zero, however, Gauff still had to wait for the serve. Even during the third set, Gauff served but had to do it again because Siegemund was not ready.
“She’s never ready when I’m serving, she went over the clock like four times, you gave her a time violation once, how is this fair?” she said to Veljovic. “I don’t care what she’s doing on her serve, but on my serve she has to be ready.”
The crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City cheered in support of the 19-year-old. Among those in the crowd were former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who were in support of her decision as well.
Gauff spoke to reporters later in the evening and said she met with the presidential couple after the match.
“[Michelle Obama] did say it’s good to speak up for myself,” she shared. “I think she was happy that I spoke up for myself today.”