During Tuesday’s first-round match at the French Open, American tennis star Coco Gauff felt inspired by one of her favorite Heat players, Jimmy Butler.
Gauff, who is positioned 6th at the Huge homerun competition, dropped the main set to Spain’s Rebeka Masarova, yet she didn’t let that concern her. The 19-year-old won the subsequent two sets, 3–6, 6–1, and 6–2, to advance to the second round.
Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated questioned Gauff after the game whether the Heat’s victory in Game 7 on Monday night helped her persevere on Tuesday.
“Honestly, today I told myself if Jimmy Butler didn’t freak out when they were up 3–0 and then all of a sudden it was 3-all, then I shouldn’t freak out from losing the first set,” Gauff said.
As Gauff mentioned, the Heat defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals after dominating the first three games. However, they lost the next three games, forcing a Game 7. In the winner-take-all game on Monday night, Miami returned to form and cruised to a 103–84 victory to advance to the NBA Finals, where they will play the Nuggets starting on Thursday.
Gauff will play Julia Grabher of Austria on Thursday in the second round.
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