Cori Gauff: Playing top players definitely fuels me more

World No. 24 Cori Gauff insists she takes every match seriously but admitted that the bigger challenge is, the more she loves it. 

In the second round of the Cincinnati Masters, Gauff could play world No. 2 Naomi Osaka. 

“For me, I guess in my head every matchup is a big matchup for me because no matter who you play, everybody has the same amount of chance to beat you on the court. Same with me, I have the same amount of chance to win,” Gauff said. 

“Obviously I know when I play bigger players like her, Ash, anybody who is top 10, I know there’s going to be more attraction around it. I’m not going to deny it. I know if I get there, people will be watching.

“I mean, it definitely fuels me a little bit more, I will say that, because the more people talk about you, the more you kind of feel good about yourself that people care to watch you play tennis.

“Yeah, it doesn’t make me nervous. Those are the moments that I guess make or break you. It will be interesting if it happens.”

Gauff adjusting to the life on Tour 

Gauff, 17, is having her first full season as a pro. 

“Yeah, I guess for my first full season, I definitely traveled more than I guess — I knew I was going to travel a lot, but I guess it feels like a lot more than I thought it would,” Gauff said.

“Other than that I feel great mentally and physically. Like mentally I feel, at least for me, I’d have more fun playing when we’re not in a bubble. I just noticed that in myself on the court. But I think that’s pretty much everybody’s answer to that.

“Physically I feel great. I would say physically from tournament to tournament I haven’t had any problems, no bad injuries, nothing. Knock on wood that I can keep that health going.

“Yeah, I feel like going into the US Open I feel great. I had a good week in Montreal. I’m hoping to have a good week here.”