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Coco Gauff Has The Best Mindset Heading Into The 2024 Olympics

Plus, the tennis pro shares how she’s pampering herself before the Games.

Tennis phenom Coco Gauff is known for beating Venus Williams at the tender age of 15, becoming the first American teenager to win the U.S. Open in nearly a quarter-century, and… her love of fruit. In 2023, the internet began buzzing about her changeover snack of choice — homemade fruit salad — after it accompanied her, packaged in a no-frills plastic container, throughout the U.S. Open. But Gauff’s fruit infatuation began when she was a child, trying to stave off the sweltering heat during long summer days spent training at Floridian tennis academies.

“We would always drink coconut water straight from the coconut because we had a lot of coconut trees,” Gauff, now 20, tells Elite Daily. “There would be a lot of mango trees near my grandma's house, so we would grab the mangoes and then maybe get a banana and pineapple… that’s kind of where it started.”

Now, the athlete has partnered with Naked to produce a colorful line of produce-powered smoothies. As their first chief smoothie officer, Gauff recommends Naked’s new Lower Sugar Berrylicious smoothie, which is filled with one of her favorite fruits (grapes) and happens to be her favorite color (purple).

Naked Brand

While gearing up for the 2024 Paris Olympics — her first Games, after a positive COVID result forced her to forego Tokyo in 2021 — the star chatted with Elite Daily about her quest to meditate more, her love of anime, and how her activist grandmother inspires her off-court confidence.

Elite Daily: I'd love to hear about your wellness habits as you head to the Olympics. How do you stay healthy? How do you pamper yourself?

Coco Gauff: When I look good, I feel good. I just got my hair and nails done yesterday, and I swear it makes you feel like a different person. I always try to start a new swing with a fresh hairstyle.

I also love to walk around the cities I’m in and just people-watch. If there's a garden nearby, a park, I like to just be in nature and be outside. I feel like it makes you happier.

ED: I definitely relate to that. Are there any wacky wellness trends — from TikTok or elsewhere — that you've tried recently?

CG: Not really, because there’s just so much going on. I try skin care products a lot and try to find a routine, but I always change it.

I also have been trying to meditate more. Sometimes I’m impatient, so it’s hard for me to sit still. But I am trying to learn to ground myself and take deep breaths and just stay in the moment because I tend to just go all the time.

I've never felt afraid to help raise awareness of issues that are hard to talk about or things that people don't talk about as much in the tennis world.

ED: What does your training look like as you prepare for the Olympics?

CG: Unfortunately, the Olympics is kind of a weird timing for us because it's right after grass season, and right before hard court season, and it's on clay. So we don't have much time to train for it.

But, up until then, I’m just trying to enjoy the process. I know I can get result-minded, but this is the one time where I'm like, “OK, you're not going to experience this again probably for another four years if that's even possible. So just really enjoy it and treat it like a one-time thing.”

ED: Watching anime has been part of your pre-competition routines in the past. Will it also factor into your Olympic rituals?

CG: Yeah, I'm actually watching Jujutsu Kaisen right now. So I'll probably be finishing that right before the Olympics starts. I find inspiration in the characters.

ED: Do you have any superstitions on or off the court?

CG: I always go on court with six rackets, maybe seven, but sometimes I don't fill it. It's not really a superstition — I treat it like a routine.

And then, always, I have fruit. Sometimes when you're stressed, your nervous system can cause you to produce more energy than you're probably used to. There are cases where people cramp, just due to stress. So I eat fruit to combat that.

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ED: How do you like to unwind at the end of the day?

CG: I like to do my skin care routine and then talk to friends. The last thing I do before bed is read.

ED: Are you reading anything good right now?

CG: I'm reading Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros. It's a fictional dragon-dystopian-type book.

ED: Your grandmother was an activist and you've been outspoken about different causes you believe in. How do you maintain your confidence?

CG: It's something that's just always been rooted in me by my grandmother and my parents. I've never felt afraid to help raise awareness of issues that are hard to talk about or things that people don't talk about as much in the tennis world.

Being a Black woman, I feel like it's almost a disservice to the people who fought so hard for me to live the life that I live to not recognize the privilege I have and not be able to use it. Knowing everything my grandmother went through, I think it’s important for me to maintain her legacy and the legacy of the people in her generation. I want to continue to make the world a better place and leave my impact on it, especially off the court.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.