June 14, 2024
Coco Gauff

Brad Gilbert and Coco Gauff at the 2023 US Open

Coco Gauff’s recent rise has turned her into one of the biggest and most popular stars in tennis.
A name that everyone has looked out for since her stunning Wimbledon run in 2019, Gauff surged to her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2023.

Still just 20 years of age, the world No 3 could have well over a decade to achieve even more in what has already been a successful career.

And as she looks to add more big titles to her collection, she has formed an incredible support network around her.

We look at the key faces and names to know as the American builds up to her US Open title defence in a few months.

Brad Gilbert
Gauff was at a crossroads last summer.

An opening round loss at Wimbledon capped off what had been a sluggish 2023 season for the US star, who appeared to be in the midst of a classic ‘sophomore slump.’

Unwilling to settle for anything less than complete success, the then-19-year-old brought legendary coach Brad Gilbert into her team – and he has helped take her to the next level.

The hard court summer started with victories at the WTA 500 event in Washington and the WTA 1000 tournament in Cincinnati, before her stellar run to the title at Flushing Meadows.

Gilbert has also guided Gauff to a seventh WTA title in Auckland this year and the semi-final of the Australian Open and Indian Wells in 2024.

With a notable improvement on her forehand and a greater ability to grind out tough wins, Gilbert’s impact is immense.

“I feel like he knows the things to say in the tough moments in the match sometimes,” Gauff told reporters last October.

“We have two different personalities. Brad, he likes to say a lot. I’m more someone who can be stubborn in a way. I think being with him has allowed me to open my mind up to accept advice more… just the way he says it makes you want to do it.”

Jean-Cristophe Faurel
Gauff has recently reconnected with former coach Jean-Christophe Faurel, who will work alongside Gilbert this clay season.

A former player in his day, the Frenchman was part of the team working with the American during her astonishing Wimbledon run five years ago.

The pair initially stopped working together in 2020, though have now restarted their relationship.

“It actually wasn’t either of our choices to stop working together,” the reigning US Open champion said. “He was having visa issues and couldn’t get into the US for a long time, a couple years.

“It’s nice to have someone on my team that knows me since I was young and knows me well. So I’m really, really excited to have him back on the team.”

Felipe Ramirez
Another recent addition to Gauff’s entourage has been Felipe Ramirez, a former collegiate player and top Colombian junior.

Ramirez was brought in by Gauff to help support Gilbert, and has been part of her coaching set-up since the beginning of 2024.

Speaking to RedMas, Ramirez said: “I’m the one who’s on a day-to-day basis with Coco; I have to be aware of the practices, her schedules, be aware of the rackets, the balls, that the court is in perfect condition – so that when she arrives to train everything is 100%

“This is a team. I am not the coach that Coco has; there are very important people [Gilbert] who are directly related to this work.”
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Maria Vago
Vago is a long-standing member of Gauff’s team, having worked with the American for at least the past season and a half.

As the world No 3’s trainer, Vago is in charge of Gauff’s physical preparation before matches, and her recovery afterwards.

Her responsibilities range from massages and pre-match warm-ups to post-match warm downs; effectively anything that keeps the US Open champion in the best shape possible across the season.

Alessandro Barel Di Sant Albano
Gauff is part of Team8 – Roger Federer’s agency group, led by the Swiss maestro’s long-term agent, Tony Godsick.

However, Gauff’s specific representative from the group is Alessandro Barel Di Sant Albano, who has been working with her since she was a young teenager.

Barrel Di Sant Albano is one of the key figures that has helped make the American a global star, securing her a range of huge sponsors and helping her make her way into the public consciousness.

He is thought to have played a key role in securing Gauff’s recent appearance on the cover of US Vogue, while he is also involved in representing US ATP No 1 Ben Shelton.

Corey and Candi Gauff
You cannot talk about Gauff’s support network without talking about Corey and Candi Gauff, the star’s parents who still play a hugely influential part in her life and career.

Corey and Candi still regularly travel to the majority of events their daughter plays in – with Corey famously watching from somewhere hidden in the stands.

It is her parents who nurtured her love for tennis as a young girl, and it is clear they still make a huge impact on her game today.

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