Novak Djokovic asked, and Coco Gauff answered. The American teenager has passed the world No. 1’s flexibility challenge with flying colors.
If nothing in that sentence makes sense to you, let’s review: Last week, Djokovic issued what he called “a challenge for the brave” on social media in response to a stirring segment from his “60 Minutes” interview that showcased his fitness routines and impressive flexibility.
“I thought, ‘Why not start a Novak flexibility challenge?'” he said, and threw down the gauntlet by demonstrating the exercise, which involves standing on one leg, touching the ground, and then extending the bent leg fully straight above one’s head.
After Gauff’s response made the rounds on social media, it seems as though Djokovic may no longer have a monopoly on the title of “tennis’ most flexible player.”
But that’s not the only moment from Gauff’s preseason preparations to go viral.
As she prepares for the start of the 2024 season, the US Open champion has been giving fans glimpses of her on-court training and gym sessions, and earlier this week, fans also took notice when a video surfaced from a practice session in which Gauff wore an eye patch over her left eye.
Clad in all black and wearing a baseball cap in addition to the peculiar accessory, Gauff struck forehand and backhands while channeling her inner “pirate”—a training technique that purportedly helps players keep their dominant eye on the ball.
Fans won’t have long to wait to see just how much these fun routines have impacted Gauff’s tennis game: She’s set to open the 2024 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand—where she is defending champion—which begins on New Year’s Day.