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Coco Gauff Returns to Action at the Citi Open in Washington D.C. Saturday

Coco Gauff address the media during the Citi Open

After Cori “Coco” Gauff’s thrilling run at Wimbledon earlier this month, fans around the world have been wondering when her next tournament appearance would be. Those fans finally got an answer yesterday when it was revealed that Gauff had secured a spot in the qualifying bracket of the Citi Open this Saturday in Washington.

The Citi Open was founded in 1969 and is played at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park. Gauff is hoping to become just the second American to win the tournament (joining Sloane Stephens) since the Women’s Tennis Association started competing in the event in 2011.

Gauff hopes to take advantage of another qualifying opportunity

Cori Gauff celebrating her victory over Polona Hercog
Cori Gauff celebrating her victory over Polona Hercog | Photo by TPN/Getty Images

Coco Gauff’s journey at Wimbledon began in the qualifying round as the then-ranked 313th women’s tennis player defeated Aliona Bolsova, Valentyna Ivakhnenko and Greet Minnen to earn a spot on the main bracket against Venus Williams. The rest is history as Gauff would go on to defeat Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova, and Polona Hercog before finally losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Gauff will only have to get through two rounds of qualifying this time around to make it on to the main bracket of the Citi Open. Her journey begins on Saturday 2 pm ET against Maegan Manasse. Manasse is a 24-year-old from Manhattan Beach, CA, that is currently ranked No. 338 on the WTA.

If Cori Gauff defeats Manasse on Saturday afternoon, she will face the winner of Saturday’s match between Quinn Gleason and Hiroko Kuwata on Sunday. Gleason is 24-years-old and ranked No. 327 on the WTA, and Kuwata is a 28-year-old professional ranked No. 265.

She has been enjoying the ride

In less than two weeks, 15-year-old Coco Gauff went from being a good young tennis prospect that was only known in tennis circles to a rising star known around the country. Her Instagram account shot up from 20,000 followers before Wimbledon began to over 386,000 on the heels of the Citi Open.

“To be honest I feel so blessed that all of this has happened,” she told Good Morning America. “This has all been a surprise.”

“I woke up and I’m still living a dream even though I’m walking on the street, people are asking me for pictures,” she said on the Today Show. “So that’s just really crazy and I don’t think I’ll ever believe it, to be honest.”

Gauff and her parents relished every moment of the young star’s incredible run at Wimbledon, and their positive energy was contagious. It will be great to see them all back on the national stage in this tournament.

Frances Tiafoe should be another fan favorite at the Citi Open

Frances Tiafoe making a play at Wimbledon
Frances Tiafoe making a play at Wimbledon | Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Coco Gauff won’t be the only fan favorite in attendance at the Citi Open. Frances Tiafoe, an energetic 21-year-old American prospect on the men’s side, was born and raised in Hyattsville, Maryland. Hyattsville is less than 10 miles away from the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, so there should be no shortage of local fans in attendance for Tiafoe.

John Isner will be the top-ranked American player in the men’s field with a world ranking of No. 12 in the ATP. World No. 9 and 2015 Citi Open Winner Sloane Stephens is the top-ranked player in the women’s field.