Getting Acquainted With…Coco Vandeweghe
by Matt Fitzgerald|
At 19 years of age, American Coco Vandeweghe has achieved numerous successes early in her professional career. The Rancho Santa Fe, Cal. native has reached the Top 90 singles rankings, represented her country in the finals of the Fed Cup and has wins over players like Vera Zvonareva and Aravane Rezai.
She comes from a very athletic family. Her mother Tauna is a two-time Olympian, representing the United States in two different sports (swimming in 1976 and volleyball in 1984). Grandfather Ernie was a professional basketball player as a member of the New York Knicks in the 1950s and her uncle Kiki also played in the NBA and is a former general manager of the Denver Nuggets.
We caught up with Coco after her first round match at the Sony Ericsson Open today. Fellow American Vavara Lepchenko defeated Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-3.
How has Miami treated you this year? Do you have a favorite restaurant or place to unwind?
CV: I’ve had a good time. I went to a Heat game a few days ago when they played the Denver Nuggets. It was the first time I saw Lebron play live, which was exciting. I found this great restaurant called, “The Knife.” It’s an Argentinean Steakhouse and the food was really good. Definitely recommend it.”
What is your career defining moment so far?
CV: Winning the US Open Juniors at 16 was really special, being in New York. But professionally, it would be reaching the quarterfinals of San Diego last year, where I beat Zvonareva after being down in the match.
What kind of pressure is there being in a generation of American players behind Venus and Serena Williams?
CV: For sure there’s pressure. You definitely want to aspire to be the next great American champion. I feel I’m working hard and am making progress.
Who is your favorite tennis player… is there a specific player you admire most?
CV: Lindsay Davenport is my favorite. She’s been a great mentor. I met her here in Miami when I was 16 and had the opportunity to practise with her. It meant a lot to me. She’s a wonderful person.
You were born into a family full of successful athletes. Do you feel like you have an inner competitiveness that can give you an advantage over certain players?
CV: Definitely. I’m a very competitive person and it pushes me on the court. Everyone in my family is spirited when we get together. We’ve had broken fingers in card games, so it gets pretty intense.
Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate
TV Show: Gossip Girl
City: New York
Tournament: US Open
Tennis Shot: Overhead
Social Media Website: Facebook
Tennis Surface: Hard court
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