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Gauff on BJK Cup: 'Playing in my hometown, I'm not going to take that for granted'

Victoria Chiesa | February 03, 2023

"Hometown hero" Coco Gauff was on hand in Delray Beach, Fla. on Friday to officially welcome women's tennis to town. Gauff met with locla politicians and media to celebrate the official announcement that the U.S. Billie Jean King Cup team will return to the city for the first time in 10 years when it hosts Austria in the 2023 qualifying round for the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals from April 14-15. 


"Representing the U.S. is always an honor," Gauff said. "Playing in my hometown, I'm not going to take that for granted. It definitely puts an extra bit of pressure when you're representing your country, especially in your hometown, but I'm ready to come up to the challenge. I'm just so excited for this opportunity."


Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Feb. 7, via Ticketmaster, and are available for as low as $25 per day. Single- and two-day ticket packages are available. USTA members can purchase tickets in advance through an exclusive presale running through Monday, or while supplies last.


Click here to purchase Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier tickets on Ticketmaster

The U.S. looks to extending its winning streak in home Billie Jean King Cup ties to four, having only lost one home tie since 2015. The team is certainly the favorites to do so: Its opponents, Austria, boast just one player ranked inside the Top 200, and Gauff hopes that raucous home-court support will be an extra advantage for the U.S. team. 


"Especially in an atmosphere like [Billie Jean King Cup], home court is definitely an advantage," Gauff said. "The crowd can really sway how the matches go."


Delray had hosted the U.S. Billie Jean King Cup team three times in history; in 2013, the last time the competition came to town, Gauff was a young fan in the stands, and cheered on Serena and Venus Williams to victory over Sweden. Expected to play her first-ever home tie in her third overall BJK Cup nomination, Gauff says she's looking forward to seeing other familiar faces in what she hopes will be a packed house. 

"I'm so happy to be able to be home," she said, "and also, just having opportunities for my friends and family to see me play. They don't really get to see me play much ... I've heard that a lot of them are going to be coming, so that's going to be nervous and exciting."


With a laugh, she added: "A lot of them never watched live tennis before so hopefully they know how to behave."


The rest of captain Kathy Rinaldi's U.S. team for the qualifying round will be announced by March. The winner of April's tie will advance to the 12-nation Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals in November. The U.S. owns a record 18 Billie Jean King Cup titles overall. 

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