June 20, 2024
Coco Gauff

Brad Gilbert and Coco Gauff at the 2023 US Open

Paula Badosa has come under fire from Coco Gauff’s coach Brad Gilbert over her ball tossing and catching during the pair’s clash at the Italian Open.

The duo squared off in the last 16 at Foro Italico on Monday and Gauff came away with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory, but Badosa’s strategy on serve did not go down well with Gilbert.

The Spaniard, who has struggled with injury over the past year with a stress fracture in the back keeping her on the sidelines for several months, often tossed the ball up in the air to serve, but then caught the ball and started the service motion again.
Gilbert took to social media platform X to vent as he believes players should be punished for the action.

He wrote: “You have heard me say this so many times, catching your on ball toss on serve is should not be allowed, how can u catch 3 tosses in a row and not at least get time violation is beyond ridiculous, also allowing 45 catches in a match and nothing in rules is mind boggling and such disadvantage to returner.”

coco Gauff’s return game wasn’t too badly affected as she won 50% (45/90) of the points, but of bigger concern for the American in recent weeks has been her own service game.

She sent down 11 double faults against Badosa although there was marked improvement as she won 57% (57/100) of points on her own serve.

The reigning US Open – who faces seventh seed Zheng Qinwen in the quarter-final – explained: “I’ve been working on it. I think today, even though the double-faults were there, I think it was still a better performance than it was last night.

“I think for me the focus will be getting more first serves in. I think my first-serve percentage was low, but my win percentage was in the high 70s or something like that. I think once I can get that down…

“I’m going big on the first serve, so I know I’m probably going to miss more. I think it’s just finding the balance of going big but also knowing when to slow down the pace just to get the serve in.

“Honestly, I mean, I bet on myself to continue to go big. I know when I go big and my serve goes in, it’s dangerous. Even though this tournament I want to win, I’m trying to think long-term. I don’t want to lose the 120 serve by not going for it.”

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