Welcome to Beijing, Coco Gauff! On the eve of her China Open debut, the American teenager toured the Chinese capital and enjoyed traditional cultural touchpoints.

"I've only seen settings like this on TV and in movies," Gauff said in a highlight video of her tour posted on the WTA's social media. "I've never been to China before so it's really cool to experience these different things. I appreciate the Chinese people ... for allowing me to be a part of this experience."

Gauff and her mom, Candi, sampled some tea, while the world No. 3 tried her hand at writing calligraphy and playing the guzheng, a Chinese plucked zither instrument. The tea in particular received two thumbs up from the US Open champion, and she served it up to others after finishing off her own cup.

"I don't usually like tea," she said. "I usually like a lot of sugar in it. I really liked it."


The WTA is returning to China for the first time in four years, and the 19-year-old is experiencing a traditional Asian swing for the first time. In Beijing, she's playing her first tournament since her crowning moment in Queens last month, and will also play in Zhengzhou ahead of her second appearance at the WTA Finals.

Gauff will play Ekaterina Alexandrova in her opener in Beijing. Gauff lost to Alexandrova in Berlin on grass earlier this year, 6-4, 6-0. On media day at the WTA 1000 event, Gauff told reporters that she took a week off from tennis—"the longest I've ever taken off from tennis," she said—but was eager to get "back to normal."

"I know I have lots of tennis left in me," Gauff told reporters in Beijing, as per WTA Insider. "I don't want to just dwell on this. It was amazing, but it's time to move on."