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Coco Gauff insists she’ll still be the same bubbly, humble and unassuming 18-year-old – even if she wins French Open

COCO GAUFF says she will remain the same bubbly, humble and unassuming teenager – even if she becomes a Slam champion on Saturday.

Four years after winning the junior girls title at Roland Garros, the 18-year-old takes on world No.1 Iga Swiatek for the senior crown on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Coco Gauff insists a French Open win won’t change her

Victory against the odds over the weekend would see her become the youngest women’s major winner since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova shocked Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2004.

Plus there is the huge incentive of a winners’ cheque for £1.9million – though £940,000 for being a finalist isn’t too shabby.

Tributes for simply getting this far have poured in from the likes of tennis icon Billie Jean King and Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States.

But mature Gauff insists success will not go to her head, saying: “If I do lift the trophy, honestly, I don’t think my life is going to change really.

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“I know it sounds kind of bad to say that, but the people who love me are still going to love me regardless if I lift the trophy or not.

“Obviously if I do, it’ll probably bring more attention from the people around the world.

“But in general in that aspect, I’m not worried about how my life is going to change, because I really don’t think it’s going to.

“There’s more to life than this. You just need to relax when you’re out there. It’s just a tennis match. It’s not the end of the world.


“There are so many people going through so many like uncomfortable situations.”

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo may have claimed that women’s matches lack the same “appeal” as the men but this clash promises to be a memorable one.

Swiatek, 21, is expected to emerge triumphant – she won the French Open two years ago and is on a 34-match winning streak on the WTA Tour.

In Poland, she has national status that is similar to the adulation towards Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

No.18 seed Gauff, who has not dropped a set yet, said: “Iga is on a streak right now obviously. Going in I have nothing to lose and she’s definitely the favourite going into the match on paper.

“I’m just going to play free and play my best tennis. In a Grand Slam final anything can happen.

“I have to capitalise on the opportunities I’m given. She’s not going to give you much opportunities.”

Gauff, who listens to hard-core rap before going on court, is aiming for the double this weekend, having reached the women’s doubles final with fellow American Jessica Pegula.

That will take place before the men’s final on Sunday and is further proof that she is a superstar in the making.

Swiatek said: “I’m pretty happy that Coco is doing well because I think she’s also had huge amount of pressure in her life.

“From what I see on court, she’s developing every year basically. When I see her, I tend to forget that she is 18. She’s playing really consistent.

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“It seems kind of obvious that the streak may come to an end soon. I just want to take it really step by step.

“I didn’t have any exact goals on this tournament. Just seeing how my game is developing every match is something that’s giving me a lot of hope. I’m just proud of myself.”