June 20, 2024
Coco Gauff

During her third-round match against Paula Badosa in Madrid, Coco Gauff struggled both mentally and physically. Her performance was plagued by errors, with her forehand failing to find its mark. Gauff experienced a significant loss of games and exchanged concerned looks with her team. Ultimately, she was convincingly defeated by a score of 6-3, 6-0.

Reflecting on her recent match, Gauff admitted that she lacked mental engagement in the second set. She acknowledged that a couple of poor points in the first set affected her mindset, causing her to struggle in the subsequent set. However, Gauff’s overall career trajectory has been remarkable and consistent.

Currently ranked fifth in the world, she stands out as the top player in her age group, with a significant gap of 49 places separating her from the next best, Linda Noskova. Gauff’s dominance is evident as she has rarely faced opponents younger than her, with encounters against Noskova and Robin Montgomery being exceptions in recent times.

This year, Coco Gauff finds herself at a significant crossroad in her career. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the 19-year-old in recent weeks. She experienced back-to-back losses, including a match against Anastasia Potapova where she struggled with over 50 unforced errors in a straight-sets defeat at Stuttgart. Then came the Madrid tournament.

Reflecting on this new phase, Gauff expressed a smile and acknowledged that it’s a different process she’s going through. She admitted to being unsure if she likes it or not, but recognizes that it’s a necessary part of her journey. In a lighthearted manner, she expressed her hope that the next person she interviews with will stay around for a while, as she finds the experience of conducting interviews to be awkward.

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