THE MODERATOR: Congrats. What was your overall assessment of the match?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, it was a good match for me, especially with the conditions a lot slower at nighttime. She’s not an easy player. She can play tricky. I watched a lot of her film the night before, and, yeah, she’s a great player and she comes out with some unexpected shots.
I think she’ll continue to improve over the future.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Stadium 2, a lot of noise from all over. Does that distract you, affect you, or do you feel comfortable in that sort of environment?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I’m pretty comfortable. I’m not really one to complain with noise unless it’s something quite obvious. But, yeah, you know, there was a baby crying and I could hear people from, I don’t know if it was Nobu or the concessions, like a lot of chatter going on, but it didn’t bother me at all.
I think that just, growing up, I used to play tennis at a park right next to a baseball field, they would have cheer practice, basketball practice. There was a lot going on. My dad used to always say, you can’t really complain. I just never complain.
Q. I could see you laugh when the DJ started playing “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” as you were about to serve 40-Love.
COCO GAUFF: Because I knew immediately they thought the game was over. It kind of helped because I hit an ace, a clean ace right after that, so it was a little pump-up song.
Those moments it kind of makes the match even more fun when some slipups happen like that.
Q. So I think at Indian Wells maybe it’s your third appearance, third round each time, obviously getting more comfortable with the conditions. My question is about how you relate to these conditions, because everybody seems to have their own take on what they like here, what time of day, hot, sunny, cold, evening. How do the conditions suit you? How do you feel you’re developing over time with your comfort level here?
COCO GAUFF: I think both conditions kind of suit me in different ways. I mean, obviously at night where I do well on clay, I know a lot of people are saying the courts are playing like clay here. Definitely at night it feels like that.
During the day it’s obviously a lot easier for me to hit the serve and hit through with my shots. It’s a catch-22. I mean, it just depends on I guess kind of the way I want to play that day. I knew tonight playing against her it was going to be a little bit more of a grind and I wasn’t going to power my way through the shots. It could be different in my next match.
But yeah, everybody has a different take. I would say, I mean, typically I like night matches. But I don’t know, it’s kind of cold here (smiling). So I don’t know if I like that. But tonight it didn’t feel as cold on the court. I’m grateful for that. But the past couple times where I practiced at night, it was like freezing. Hopefully it stays kind of like it did tonight.
Q. Everyone knows that you have this great quality of sort of looking at issues beyond the court and caring about justice, freedom. Obviously in your state there have been these very serious initiatives in terms of black AP, banning books, going after the college in Sarasota. Your thoughts about it if you would. Does it upset you? Could you just reflect on that, please.
COCO GAUFF: I mean, my thoughts on it, I think history is history. Education is education. I mean, I know going on in the state of Florida there’s a lot of conversation about that, but my personal opinion, I mean, it’s history. I feel like when you don’t teach kids history, they’re bound to repeat it. I have been growing up to learn the goods and bads, and a brown history. I think you can learn a lot from that.
Regarding that topic, obviously I don’t really like what’s going on, but I think the only way to move forward is when we have conversations. You’d be really surprised when you have conversations with kids, even at a young age, what they can take from it and how they can apply it to the future. I see this with my brothers.
I think, I don’t know, I feel like adults have a little construct as they get older and think kids can’t handle certain information, but you have to remember they have a clean slate and they’re looking at things. What we teach them can kind of help shape who they are going to be in the future. If we want to have good morals and hopefully a better history in the future, I think we have to teach even the dark parts of it, in an age-appropriate way of course.
When I was going to school, and even my grandparents and my parents, they never really hid anything from me. If I had questions, they always answered them truthfully. I think that’s important more so when we have those conversations, because then kids, especially younger kids, aren’t, I guess, scared to ask those questions and maybe form maybe unhealthy opinions or relationships to certain things because we have guarded them so much. That’s my opinion on that.
Q. Your third-round opponent hasn’t been determined yet. Still haven’t taken to the court.
COCO GAUFF: I know.
Q. Are you going to keep an eye on that or mind your own business, go to bed?
COCO GAUFF: I’m usually a late owl. Maybe they will finish by the time I go to sleep. If they are going on late, late, I might have to see that tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll watch the match live. Maybe. I just usually go on YouTube and watch something here and there. If it’s on in the room, I’ll probably watch it.
But for the most part I think I’m just going to chill and go to sleep. It’s been a long day.
Q. You mentioned watching videos to prepare for tonight’s opponent. Is that the same routine you go through every match? Are you always video scouting? Can you just take me a little bit through what you hope to gain and how that helps you for each match?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, a lot of times I do that. Except if I have played the person fairly recently, usually I have already watched the match that I have played them in, so I don’t really see the point of watching it again.
I try not to watch it too much. I don’t want to get too involved, because at the end of the day when you step on the court you have to feel the game. Even today there was stuff I saw online that didn’t really happen today like I thought it was going to happen. So I don’t get too much.
Usually I just watch the highlights or maybe half a match, because usually the highlight reels kind of show everything because you see all the good stuff. If you notice something, if they’re repeating the same play over and over again, that’s one thing I look for.
Usually my coaches do more the deep depth, and they kind of filter that. Sometimes it’s good to see for myself. I don’t do it all the time but it depends on the opponent, if I hadn’t played them before. Most of the time if I haven’t played them before, I do that.
Q. Is it typically alone or…
COCO GAUFF: Most of the time alone. Yeah, pretty much most of the time alone. I don’t like to hear stuff in my ear. I like to kind of make my opinion from it.
If it matches what my coaches say, then clearly I saw it right. If it’s not, then we have a conversation about what I saw and what he saw and how we can come up with a game plan from there.
Q. Tennis has so many traditions, so many rules, procedures. If you were in charge and you could change one rule, one tradition, what would you change?
COCO GAUFF: Oh, what would I change? I don’t know what I would change. God. That’s a tough question. I’m trying to think of anything that we do today.
I guess one thing, I actually said this yesterday, I said I wish players could choose their walkout song when they walk on the court. I think that would be a cool little thing to add. Yeah, that would be the one thing I would change for tennis.
Q. Which are some of the…
COCO GAUFF: Today I was listening to “Love Me” by Lil Wayne and Drake. I don’t know if that’s the most appropriate song, so I wouldn’t choose that. I would say probably “Icon” by Jaden Smith or “Grinding All My Life” by Nipsey Hussle. Yeah, I’d say probably one of those two songs. Probably since we’re in California probably some Nipsey Hussle.