Gauff growing in confidence as she chases first Grand Slam title

Fresh from her first WTA 1000 title, the 19-year-old could be a big threat for the US Open

Coco Gauff, Cincinnati 2023 Icon SMI / Panoramic
US Open •First round • completed
See draw

Coco Gauff believes her game and her mind is in a better place than ever as she tries to win her first Grand Slam title at the US Open over the next fortnight.

The 19-year-old American, who reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open last summer, was beaten in the first round at Wimbledon.

But she won her biggest title to date at this month’s WTA 1000 in Cincinnati, beating world No 1 Iga Swiatek along the way, and the arrival of Brad Gilbert, the man who masterminded Andre Agassi’s resurgence and rise to No 1 and who helped Andy Roddick win the US Open in 2003, has given her extra belief that this could be her time.

“I think I’m obviously a lot more confident and I think the mindset is different,” Gauff told reporters at Flushing Meadows on media day Friday. “Having that first-round loss at Wimbledon shows that it wasn’t really as bad as it could happen, so I’m not going into this tournament worried if I lose early or not. I can’t really control that result.

“I think now I’m going in with a lot more confidence. I feel like no matter the score line in the match, I can be able to problem solve and troubleshoot my way out. I know I can win matches not playing my best game now. I think I wasn’t playing my best in every single match in D.C. and Cincinnati, it’s impossible. I do feel I’m much more confident in my B or C game.”

Gilbert proving to be a smooth messenger

Gilbert joined the Gauff team quietly last month and the impact has been immediate, the American finding a way to instil his thoughts quickly on the talented American.

“For me with BG, I think I have a lot more confidence in my game,” she said. “People can say you play good or the opposite, but I think hearing it from someone who probably has seen countless of my matches, I don’t know how many he’s maybe commentated on, but for sure watched countless of my matches and worked with some of the best players in the game, I think you just really believe it.

“Sometimes it’s not always about the message. I don’t think the message has changed for me, it’s more about how the message was relayed to me. I think hearing that from his perspective helps a lot.”

People in this post

Your comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *