MELBOURNE : Coco Gauff denied on Monday that she was upset about a United States Tennis Association (USTA) social media post which depicted her and some of her fellow U.S. players as characters from a cartoon but said the image made them look “awful”.
The USTA wished its seeded players well at the Australian Open by having them drawn in the style of the late 1990s Nickelodeon cartoon “The Wild Thornberrys”.
“Worst thing I’ve ever seen,” Gauff said on Sunday in an Instagram post.
“Like a caricature artist decided to make (us) all look like hideous looking people. The art style is cool for a cartoon show but not for a hype post. Foul.”
The USTA post was later deleted.
Speaking after her first round victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Monday, however, Gauff said she was not being serious and that her comments were the result of her being bored in her hotel room.
“I was like, no, I wasn’t mad. We looked awful,” Gauff told reporters.
“I just don’t know if I want myself drawn as that art style … Usually, the USTA always does the seed, the hype posts or whatever before the Slams.
“They should have posted this on April Fool’s Day. It was a funny thing in the (players’) chat.”
Gauff said she had also messaged the USTA to ask about the thinking behind the picture as a joke.
“They never responded. I got left on ‘read’ by USTA, which sucks. But, you know, it is what it is,” Gauff said.