Since going pro in 2018, Coco Gauff has captivated tennis fans and low-key sports viewers alike with her powerful backhand, charming persona, and overall humility. But, on Sept. 9, when she beat Aryna Sabalenka to win her first-ever major singles title at the 2023 US Open, we couldn’t help but admire another star by her side on the court: her beloved fruit salad.
Gauff has been noshing on fruit salad in her professional matches for the last few years, and there’s something to be said about her no-frills fuel of choice. It’s not a sponsored sports drink or an energy gel. It’s not even a banana. It’s a homemade fruit salad in a plastic container. Who knows how many leftover meals previously lived in that container before it made its US Open debut. How many trips it took in the dishwasher before helping Gauff secure her first-ever major win. That container’s been through it all. Popeye had his spinach, and Gauff has her fruit salads.
Gauff’s parents, Candi and Corey Gauff, are the ones to thank for the star’s homemade fruit salads. During an appearance on the “Today” show on Sept. 11 following her grand slam win, hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie asked the 19-year-old star if she was aware of the attention her fruit concoction has garnered on social media. “People were asking me all the time what I was eating, and I was like, ‘It’s just fruit,'” Gauff said. “My mom prepares it before the matches, and sometimes my dad does, too. Just good old fruit.”
She added, “They say to always eat to give you energy, but yeah, just fruit! People are saying, ‘She still gets her lunches packed and everything.'”
What is in this fruit salad, you might ask? Following her win in the second round at the 2023 French Open in June, Gauff spoke to the contents of her snack in her post-game press conference. “My dad makes a little fruit salad. There’s cantaloupe, pineapple, watermelon,” she said. “Usually there’s grapes. . . but the pineapple and the grapes are my favorite.” She noted that she tries to snack during the changeovers. “Two bites here and there just to make sure I stay fueled for the whole match.” During the US Open, her container appeared to be filled with grapes, honeydew, and cantaloupe.