By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — There is hype in sports and there is, at the next level hype realized. In the case of 15-year old Coco Gauff of the USA, the hype is both palpable and real.
Gauff played her first US Open main draw match yesterday before a huge and highly partisan throng at Louis Armstrong, with a hugely exciting 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over hard hitting 18-year old Russian Anastasia Potapova, who is no. 72 in the world.
The teenage phenom is currently ranked no. 116 after her run to the 4th round at Wimbledon and her fine showing later in the summer in the Washington, D.C. event.
When she was 13, she reached the final of the U.S. Open girls’ championship and has already won the French Open girls’ championship.
Because of 15 and under WTA rules, she can only play in 10 tournaments a year. She can’t play a full schedule until age 18.
She is represented by Team8, the Roger Federer-Tony Godsick agency and already has a major sponsor in barilla pasta, among others. It won’t be long until Gauff has a sponsor list which rivals that of all the great tennis players.
She has that much potential and with Godsick at the helm, the endorsement deals keep storming in.
But Godsick is a pro and is always very judicious with respect to which deals he recommends to his clients, especially a 15-year old, with dozens of years of possible global tennis dominance in front of her.
She next plays at the Open on Thursday against Timea Babos, a veteran Hungarian player who is currently no. 112 in the world. One thing is certain.
She will once again have the crowd behind her.