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Coco Gauff Changing the World by Winning

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by Cinque Reeves

It was an electrifying night of women’s tennis in Atlanta as two players with Atlanta ties, Coco Gauff and Taylor Townsend squared off on Stadium Court.

Gauff defeated Townsend 6-3, 6-3.

The first set started out with a battle of the breaks. Taylor Townsend started off strong breaking Gauff’s serve. Coco promptly returned the favor when she broke Taylor with a dropshot down the line. The two went back and forth until Coco Gauff held to make it 3-2. Gauff was able to break Townsend again and earn herself a 4-2 lead. Gauff was able to hold the threat of Townsend off and seal the first set with an ace.

Photo credit: Cinque Reeves

“I think it was a great performance,” Gauff said. “Had a lot of fun, wasn’t sure how it was going to be tonight. Taylor made it super fun. These matches have to [be] with the right person and I think Taylor was the right person.”

Both players started the second set with a hold of serve. However, in their second services games both players were broken. Coco broke Taylor again to give herself a 3-2 lead. Up a break and a set, Gauff looked certain to win the match. When serving for the match, Gauff and a ball kid worked together to claim the victory over Townsend.

Photo credit: Cinque Reeves

“Since I was younger, my dad told me I could change the world with my racquet,” Gauff said at the French Open this spring.

“He didn’t mean that by just playing tennis. He meant speaking out on issues like [guns and violence and promoting peace,]” the star-tennis player said.

Gauff debuted a new pair of New Balance shoes t.during a pre-tournament exhibition at Atlantic Station that bore a phrase, “You can change the world with your racket.”

Photo credit: Cinque Reeves

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Photo credit: Cinque Reeves

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