“I’m scared if you hit a 150mph serve in my head”: Coco Gauff playfully reveals her hesitation to partner with Ben Shelton for mixed doubles

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Coco Gauff recently revealed her apprehension about partnering with compatriot Ben Shelton in mixed doubles.Gauff and Shelton are currently participating in the 2024 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The 19-year-old, third seed in the tournament, defeated World No. 47 Clara Burel 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), in the second round and then handed a 6-2, 7-6 (5) defeat to Italian and World No. 53 Lucia Bronzetti in the third.

The American will now face either the four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka or 24th seed Elise Mertens in the fourth round.Shelton, seeded 16th in the tournament, received a bye in the first round, and defeated Czech’s Jakub Mensik 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the second round. The 2021 US Open semifinalist then defeated 22nd-seeded Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (5) to advance to the Round of 16, where he will face reigning Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner.In a recent interview shared on the BNP Paribas Open’s official Instagram handle, Gauff humorously addressed the topic of a potential mixed doubles partnership. The American jokingly mentioned Shelton but quickly added that he was not her “dream” partner.

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“I mean for fun, I would just say, Ben Shelton, but he is not a dream,” Gauff joked. “That could easily happen. He’s already asked me, but, well, I got to focus on singles. It will happen one day. Just not too soon. Probably, Rafa then.”

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This statement sparked a playful exchange on Instagram. Shelton shared the clip on his Instagram story on Monday, March 11, with a lighthearted caption that read:

“Guess I’m not good enough to play mixed with u huh.”

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Gauff responded by reposting Shelton’s story and revealing her true concern:

“no tbh i’m just scared if you hit a 150mph serve in the back of my head. but we’ll play one day.”

“Coco Gauff is a little sister to me” – Ben Shelton opened up about his relationship with the 2023 US Open champion

Ben Shelton previously shared insights about his relationship with Coco Gauff in a prominent American lifestyle magazine, GQ.In an interview discussing his inaugural full-tour season in 2023, Shelton was questioned about any advice he might have received from Coco Gauff. The 20-year-old disclosed that Gauff frequently teases him about his limited experience at the highest level of the game.

“So she messes with me sometimes, she’ll be like, ‘Hey, what’s up, rookie? How’s the year going so far?'” Shelton said to GQ in an interview in September 2023.

Shelton emphasized that Gauff is among the select individuals he consistently praises and admires.

“Coco is a little sister to me! She’s definitely one of the ones I’m talking about,” he added.

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