The 16-year-old began her clay season in Rome with a strong win over Ons Jabeur. (Getty)

On Tuesday in Rome, Coco Gauff deftly handled a tricky opener against Ons Jabeur, 6-4, 6-3. She had seemingly no trouble at all switching from hard courts to clay.

"I haven't played on clay in over a year, but to be honest I feel quite comfortable on clay," the world No. 53 told press. "In my junior career I had good results on clay."

Just two years ago, Gauff won the junior French Open. She's also spent time training at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in France since she was 10.

Gauff is also comfortable living in pasta heaven in Rome, even though due to COVID-19 restrictions players can't actually go out and enjoy the local cuisine inside a restaurant.

"We're not really allowed to go anywhere, but I've been ordering delivery," the 16-year-old said. "And I've been ordering a lot of pasta."

The American is one of the lucky athletes to be sponsored by Barilla, joining the likes of Roger Federer and Mikaela Shiffrin.


This girl keeps making history. So proud to be by your side, @cocogauff ???? ♥️ ???? #callmecoco #wtalinz #wta

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"I'm not sure what my favorite style of pasta," Gauff said. "Honestly, I like all the pasta and it definitely tastes better in Italy than it does in the U.S. I think in America we overcook our pasta a little bit."

Barilla has its headquarters nearby in northern Italy, though Gauff won't be able to go this year.

"I was able to visit the Barilla headquarters last year," she said. "It was cool to see how the pasta is made in the factory."

She'll play Garbine Muguruza in the second round.