Gauff urges fans to take CPR course

Gauff took the course after watching her dad perform CPR on a person who did not survive. File photo: Getty Images via AFP/Rob Carr

American Coco Gauff urged fans at the Washington Open to take cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course that can help save lives and said she would have been ready to jump in if needed after a spectator fell ill during her match on Friday.

Play in the quarterfinal clash between world No. 7 Gauff and Swiss Belinda Bencic was stopped briefly when a fan in the stadium was in distress but paramedical staff stepped in to address the issue and the match resumed.

"At first I was just making sure that it wasn't something cardiac," Gauff said immediately after her 6-1, 6-2 victory. "I just took a CPR class, so if they needed me to jump in I was ready. I have my certification.

"I did ask the ref if it was cardiac. I'm sure there are more professional people out here, but she said it wasn't... that's when I realised the person will probably be OK.

"But yeah, everybody in the stadium should take the class. It took 90 minutes. I booked it on the flight from Wimbledon... it's really informative."

The 19-year-old later told reporters that the course was something she had wanted to take after watching her dad perform CPR on a person who did not survive.

World No. 4 Jessica Pegula's sister Kelly performed CPR on their mother last year and Gauff said that was another reason she wanted to get certified.

"I was like, 'OK, I need to do it' ... I learned so much," she added. "I was hoping I wouldn't have to do anything today, but if it came to that point, at least I learned that."

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