The 16-year-old made a sensation at last year's Wimbledon where she as a 15-year-old reached the fourth round, the same round as she also reached in the Australian Open this year.

But the start of the season during the corona pandemic has been tough.

The young American lost in the first round of the Western & Southern Open and US Open, both of which were played in Flushing Meadows, New York.

The victory in Rome was therefore extra welcome.

"I am very happy with the win, especially considering the heavy losses in New York," Gauff told Reuters.

Went to the qualifiers in last year's Paris tournament

Gauff went out in the qualifiers in last year's French Open, which was then played in May-June.

Now that tournament starts in eleven days.

Despite the little experience of playing on the surface at the senior level, Gauff feels confident about the future.

- I have certainly not played on gravel for over a year, but to be honest, I feel very comfortable on gravel.

In junior matches I have very good results on gravel and I visit Patrick Mouratoglou's academy quite often.

I'm quite used to the red gravel, says Gauff who is ranked 53rd and will not be seeded in Paris - the 32 highest ranked will be.