Coco Gauff slams USTA post depicting American players at the Australian Open as the Wild Thornberrys

American tennis star Coco Gauff has lashed out at her own country’s tennis association in a scathing post.

Ahead of the Australian Open getting underway the United States Tennis Association posted a cartoon style image of Gauff alongside every seeded American player in the style of the Wild Thornberrys.

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The cartoon was a smash hit on Nickledeon and ran from the late 1990s to the early 2000s and followed the life of an adventurous family on safari.

The post by the USTA was intended to wish the American contingent good luck Down Under, with Gauff drawn alongside Emma Navarro, Ben Shelton, Sebastian Korda, Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul.

Sadly the message didn’t hit the right note with the 19-year-old star who tore the post to shreds on Instagram.

“Worst thing I’ve ever seen,” Gauff wrote above the image in an Instagram story.

“Like a caricature artist decided to make (us) all look like hideous looking people.

“The art style is cool for a cartoon show but not for a hype post. Foul.”

The post by the USTA has since been deleted while Gauff clarified on X, formerly Twitter, that she didn’t take offence to it.

“Y’all I know it is a cartoon show but I think I would prefer to be drawn as a Bratz art style and not this. This is makes us all look so ugly,” Gauff tweeted.

Compatriot and world No. 5 Jess Pegula agreed, replying “Hahahahhaha we are ugly af”.

Gauff later deleted her Instagram story and post on X.

It’s not the first time an American sporting body has come under fire over a marketing campaign ahead of a major event.

Prior to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, a commercial created by US World Cup hosts Fox Sports was widely mocked and subsequently torn to shreds after America was sent packing in the knockout stages.

The 90 second ad took potshots at almost every nation competing at the tournament before it ends with a woman stating: “I mean, the entire world is going to do whatever it takes to stop the US.”

Veteran striker Alex Morgan replies in the ad – “good luck with that” – with a half-smile before jogging off on the pitch.

Safe to say the marketing departments of American sporting bodies haven’t quite nailed the briefs of late.

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