Coco Gauff has refused to blame the COVID-19 pandemic for her early exit from the US Open.

Gauff, who was beaten 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the first round by Anastasija Sevastova overnight, said thr forced break actually allowed her to work on things, but ‘getting matches under my belt’ did hurt.

“I think the break I was able to work on a lot of things that I normally wouldn’t,” Coco Gauff, 16, said.

“Normally when you’re a younger player, you take training blocks. I don’t think it hurt me so much.

“The main part that hurt was just getting matches under my belt, getting experience. That’s what I need on tour.

“I’m playing against people older than me who have been in more situations, difficult situations, than I have.
“I think the biggest thing is I just need experience.

Despite the loss Gauff was still able to produce some great tennis.

“I could have played better today,” she said.

“[I’m] just going to get back to work and get ready for the French Open.

“Right now losses hurt. I mean, I’m disappointed. I’m going to go back to practice tomorrow and hopefully do my best in doubles, then prepare for singles in Europe.”