The 18-year-old faced compatriot and Atlanta resident Taylor Townsend in the first of two exhibition matches on Sunday night. Gauff prevailed 6-3 6-3 in an exciting yet wholesome atmosphere.
"I think it was a great performance," said Gauff. "Had a lot of fun, wasn't sure how it was going to be tonight. Taylor made it super fun. These matches have to be with the right person and I think Taylor was the right person."
In front of a packed stadium, Gauff and Townsend wowed the crowd with their shot-making. Inspiration was the theme of the night, as Gauff debuted a new pair of New Balance shoes that bore a phrase that Gauff has held dear to her heart: "You can change the world with your racket."
"Since I was younger, my dad told me I could change the world with my racquet," Gauff said at the French Open this spring, where, after winning her semifinal match, she signed the camera 'Peace. End gun violence'.
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"He didn't mean that by just playing tennis. He meant speaking out on issues like this. The first thing my dad said to me after I got off court was, 'I'm proud of you and I love what you wrote on the camera.' I think my parents support me when talking about issues like this."