Tearful CoCo Vandeweghe discusses her semi final defeat
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CoCo Vandeweghe has taken to Twitter to have her say after a video showing her refusing to do a pre-match warm-up circulated online. The former world No 9 was playing in an ITF event which was suspended for excessive heat, and when the match resumed she failed to put any effort in the warm-up requested by her opponent Ekaterine Gorgodze. The American has now said she was attempting to “conserve energy” after suffering with exhaustion in the conditions.
Vandeweghe came under fire after a video showing her standing in one spot as she poorly returned shots from her opponent using her non-dominant left hand spread on Twitter.
The current world No 151 didn’t hit a single practice serve during the warm-up and ended up withdrawing after the match was suspended again for rain after just one game of the final set.
She has now had her say in the wake of the backlash, sharing a statement revealing that she asked to skip the warm-up before being required to participate.
The two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist wrote: “In regards to a recent video of my match circulating online: I am and have been suffering from a severe sinus infection which is limiting my breathing.
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“Late in the second set of my match yesterday I also began experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion. By the end of the second set my entire body was cramping intensely and I had extreme nausea. I struggled to finish. When play was suspended for excessive heat the on-site Physios did a great job of hydrating and cooling me down.
“After the suspension was lifted my opponent requested a warmup; I informed the umpire that I preferred to skip the warmup citing my exhaustion and general illness in an attempt to conserve energy for what would be a gruelling third set under the conditions.”
Vandeweghe also revealed that she recommended Gorgodze do the warm-up with her coach but was asked to take part despite her exhaustion.
“In lieu of my participation I recommended that my opponent warm up with her coach – this is allowed by rule. Ekaterine and her coach declined and instead requested that I warm up with her,” she explained.
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“I attempted to conserve as much energy as possible during the warm up in preparation to compete with all of my ability in the third set. My match was then suspended for rain and moved to the next morning. Heat exhaustion continued throughout the night and today.
“I attempted a warm up this morning and decided to withdraw when I realized that I was unable to compete with all of my ability. I had zero intention of ever disrupting play.”
The American went on to thank the tournament organisers, physios and trainers before saying she will compete in Chicago next week.
At the time, the match commentator said they had never seen anything like it.
“This is unbelievable. CoCo doesn’t want to warm up. And she says, ‘If you’re going to make me do it, then I’m not going to move, I’m not going to do anything.’
“I’ve never seen this in my life. This is wild. She’s going to do just enough here just so she doesn’t get in trouble,” he said.
Some have criticised Vandeweghe for not apologising to her opponent in her statement, while others have come to het defence.
Gorgodze progressed to the next round where she lost to young British sensation Emma Raducanu.
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