HomeTennisKiwi joins forces with Coco Gauff at Italian Open

Kiwi joins forces with Coco Gauff at Italian Open


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New Zealand’s best doubles player has joined forces with grand slam champion and world number three Coco Gauff for this week’s Italian Open.

Erin Routliffe was left without a doubles partner for this week’s Italian Open when Gaby Dabrowski was ruled out through injury.

Gauff won the US Open last year and is also a two-time major doubles finalist. She also won the ASB Classic singles title in Auckland earlier this year.

“I definitely notice more people watching our matches,” Routliffe told 1News about playing with her new partner.

Routliffe, 29, is a grand slam doubles champion, winning the US Open doubles with Dabrowski last year, and is currently ranked sixth in the world in the format.

Gauff’s doubles partner was also ruled out through injury, which allowed her to team up with the Kiwi.

“Every court we play on is pretty full. I’m sitting there warming up with someone who is ranked top five in the world and a grand slam champion. Going to play our match is a bit surreal but at the same time I have to back myself and not have too much impostor syndrome,” said Routliffe.

Routliffe and Gauff have reached the quarterfinals of the Italian Open and play at midnight tonight.

“Each match we play better together but it’s definitely a dream and there are a couple moments where I’m like ‘wow, this is really my life’.”

“We didn’t know each other personally at all but I think she probably played against me and liked my game. We match up well together.”

Gauff is helped in part by her star-studded support team as Brad Gilbert, who used to coach the likes of Andre Agassi and Andy Murray, guiding the young American.

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