Tennis: ASB Classic darling Coco Gauff sounds off on funny-not-funny USTA Australian Open hype post

ASB Classic fan favourite Coco Gauff has made her displeasure known, after she and fellow American tennis stars were depicted in cartoon style on a social media hype post by their national body, the US Tennis Association.

Gauff slammed the post on social media, describing it as the "worst thing I've ever seen", and claiming it made her and her colleagues "look like hideous looking people".

Drawn in the style of US cartoon show The Wild Thornberrys, the image depicts tennis stars Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Emma Navarro, Ben Shelton, Sebastian Korda, Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul in a campervan, driving through the Australian outback.

Coco Gauff and the USTA hype post.
Coco Gauff and the USTA hype post. Photo credit: Getty Images

All are seeded for the Australian Open at Melbourne, with Gauff ranked fourth among the women and Fritz 12th in the men's draw.

"Worst thing I've ever seen," the two-time Auckland winner posted on Instagram. "Like a caricatures artist just decided to make us all look like hideous-looking people.

"The art style is cool for a cartoon show, but not for a hype post. Foul."

The original USTA post and Gauff's response have both been deleted from their accounts, but the player has been questioned about the exchange after her win over Slovak Anna Karolina Schmeidlova in the opening round at Melbourne.

While she has tried to walk back her criticism, insisting her reaction was intended as a joke, Gauff still sounds unhappy.

"People thought I was being serious, that I was actually mad with it," she said. "I wasn't mad, we looked awful.

"I know it was from a cartoon and the artist did a great job with the cartoon. I just don't know if I want myself drawn as that art style.

"We did not look good at all. I was, like, they should have posted this on April Fool's Day or something."

Gauff reveals she direct-messaged the USTA account, but received no reply.