Coco Gauff sets competitive challenge with boyfriend ahead of Wimbledon

Monday, 24 June 2024 at 01:30
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Coco Gauff revealed a ‘super competitive’ activity with her boyfriend as she prepares for Wimbledon. The world No. 2 has been in a relationship for a year and spoke about how it has helped her rekindle a childhood hobby.
The 2023 US Open champion played her only preparatory tournament before SW19 this week at the WTA 500 Berlin Ladies Open. Gauff won matches against Ekaterina Alexandrova (7-6, 6-2) and Ons Jabeur (7-6, ret.), but fell in a close semifinal match to her doubles partner Jessica Pegula (5-7, 6-7).

Gauff embraces competitive reading challenge

At just 20 years old, Gauff can boast a 5-year career, a record of 205-91 so far, and 7 titles. And this is only in singles, as she has extensive doubles experience (136-61), winning 9 titles and even reaching world No. 1.
The 2023 US Open champion turned professional at just 15 years old, which distanced her from one of her childhood hobbies: reading, which she now hopes to rekindle inspired by her relationship: "It started because I loved reading as a kid and I kind of lost it when I got older," she explained.
"So at first my goal was to read 12 books, one per month. Then my boyfriend has this thing where he reads the amount of books as the year we're in, so 24 in 2024, 23 in 2023,” the world No. 2 said. "So when he said he was going to read 24, I got super competitive and I doubled my goal to match his and I like trying to finish faster than him. I'm two books ahead, so I'm winning right now."
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Coco Gauff at the 2024 Australian Open
According to the Sunday Express, some of the books in Gauff’s reading repertoire include 'Daisy Jones and The Six' by Taylor Jenkins Reid; 'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness' by Michelle Alexander; 'After Dark' by Haruki Murakami; and Viola Davis' memoir, 'Finding Me.'
Little is known about Gauff’s relationship so far, only that her boyfriend’s name is Jalen Sera and he is from Atlanta. The world No. 2 mentioned that she has been dating him for about a year according to Time: “This is my first real relationship. To just have someone to talk to who is not involved in tennis at all gives me a fresh perspective."

Gauff aims to rewrite Wimbledon history

Gauff will arrive at Wimbledon with her highest career ranking after reaching world No. 2 following the French Open. The American will be the second seed, ensuring she avoids Iga Swiatek at least until a potential final.
However, the 20-year-old has not achieved great results at Wimbledon so far, and it is the Grand Slam where she has had the least success, with a record of 8-4 (67%) and never having surpassed the fourth round of the tournament. She also had a disappointing first-round exit last year against Sofia Kenin.
Nonetheless, the American has memorable moments at Wimbledon, the tournament where she first made her name on the Tour at the start of her career in 2019. On that occasion, at just 15 years old, she came through qualifying and eliminated 5-time champion Venus Williams in her debut. She reached the fourth round, where she lost to 7th seed and eventual champion Simona Halep.

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