Coco Vandeweghe reacts during her fourth round match against Germany's Angelique Kerber.
Coco Vandeweghe reacts during her fourth round match against Germany's Angelique Kerber. FILIP SINGER

Coco happy to fake it till she makes it

COCO Vandeweghe has produced one of the shocks of the Australian Open, knocking out defending champion Angelique Kerber - though considering the American's background, maybe it isn't such a shock.

Vandeweghe is the product of an athletic dynasty on her mother's side.

Her mum, Tauna, was an Olympic swimmer. Grandfather Ernie was a guard for the Knicks from 1949- 56. Uncle Kiki, an NBA All-Star, also played for the Knicks, among other teams, and coached the New Jersey Nets.

Uncle Bruk medalled in beach volleyball at the 1994 Goodwill Games, and Aunt Heather was once captain of the US women's polo team.

"In my family, you have to learn how to throw a football or get tackled harder than you probably want to,” Vandeweghe said last year.

But the person who taught Vanderweghe her most important sporting lesson was her maternal grandmother, Colleen Kay Hutchins, Miss America in 1952.

"My grandmother always said to me: 'Fake it till you make it,'” Vandeweghe said after reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2015.

"Coming from a Miss America that basically had to ooze confidence, that's a pretty good line.”

It was a line the 25-year-old recited again after her win over Kerber.

"When you play tough players, like you will in later rounds of tournaments, you can't be showing that you're struggling or not feeling confident in yourself,” she said.

"At least that is what I decided to tell myself this year and also last year ... because I was lacking in confidence in certain tournaments and certain stages.”



Surfer fights off bull shark at NSW beach

premium_icon Surfer fights off bull shark at NSW beach

Lucky escape after freak encounter with shark at popular surf spot

62 shark sightings in 5 hours keep lifesavers busy

62 shark sightings in 5 hours keep lifesavers busy

DPI aerial patrols continue to report sharks chasing bait fish

PHOTOS: What $5 million buys you on the Northern Rivers

premium_icon PHOTOS: What $5 million buys you on the Northern Rivers

We take a snoop at some of our most exclusive properties

Local Partners