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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Coco Gauff insists she's not a party person.  

The US Open champion celebrated her 20th birthday today dishing out a bagel to ignite a birthday blast.

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In her best match of the tournament, Gauff streaked through eight straight games thrashing Elise Mertens 6-0, 6-2 to charge into the Indian Wells quarterfinals for the second straight year.

A day that began with a birthday call from her beloved grandmother saw Gauff drop the hammer winning 26 of 31 first-serve points in a 66-minute sweep.

Despite the birthday brilliance, Gauff isn't planning an extensive celebration—just a quiet dinner with family and opening some presents later—because she's "not a huge party, celebration person" and because she feels there's unfinished business in the desert.

The third-ranked Gauff improves to 15-3 on the season and will face either 11th-seeded Daria Kasatkina or China's Yue Yuan for a semifinal spot.

Typically, Gauff doesn't buy herself birthday gifts, but clearly has her eye on the BNP Paribas Open title trophy to cap a birthday week.

"I think, obviously I want to win this tournament, I'm playing in it," Gauff told the media in Indian Wells. "But I will say, yeah, it's definitely one of the tournaments I want to win at least once in my career. Hopefully it can be now. I feel pretty good about my chances.

"Obviously Miami being a home tournament, that would be a dream to win, as well."

She's already won a Grand Slam championship as a teenager and Gauff has major goals for her 20s.

"I guess tennis goals, definitely to win some more slams, and I want to medal at this Olympics or 2028. That would be cool," Gauff said. "Then life goals, honestly, I haven't thought that far.

"Yeah, I mean, I'm not trying to do anything, I'm not trying to get married or anything (smiling). Definitely no kids. Yeah, just tennis right now and we'll see where life takes me off the court."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty