A little magic may help Coco Gauff go a long way in next week’s Australian Open main draw, with the American teenager entering her first Grand Slam tournament solely on her own merits.
Gauff arrived in Melbourne on Monday after playing in Auckland with a world ranking of 66 and eligible for the main draw at Melbourne Park.
Her only other appearance at Melbourne was in the junior tournament in 2018.
“I’m really excited,” said Gauff, who was involved in a promotional event on Tuesday with actors from the Melbourne-production of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is based on J.K. Rowling’s fantasy books about a boy wizard.
“This is my first slam getting into the main draw without getting a wildcard or qualifying.
“I haven’t been back in Melbourne since I was 13 when I played juniors so I’m really excited to play on the big stage.”
The 15-year-old put her first foot on the big stage last year when she stunned the tennis world by advancing out of qualifying to beat seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon.
Eventual champion Simona Halep, however, ended Gauff’s dream run in the fourth round.