Coco Gauff backed to continue improvement as former world No 1 highlights her strengths

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Gauff kicked off her 2023 campaign in fine fashion as she enjoyed a title-winning run at the ASB Classic in Auckland - her first WTA singles trophy since May 2021. That came on the back of an excellent 2022 season that saw her reach her maiden Grand Slam final as she finished runner-up to Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros. The teenager also reached the US Open quarter-final and climbed to a career-high No 4 in the WTA Rankings to qualify for her maiden WTA Finals. Having been tipped as a potential Grand Slam winner and world No 1 since she made her breakthrough as a 15-year-old in 2019, Gauff looks like she is ready to fulfill that early promise. Former world No 1 Davenport explained just some of the key features of the 18-year-old's game. "I think really the sky's the limit for her. The arc of her potential, I think she can continue to keep on improving for years," the American told Tennis.com. "Everything about her game got better. 'The forehand, she can manage it really well at times. It's obviously not a huge strength right now, but I think her other strengths on the court, her movement. I think her serve has gotten much, much better. Much more consistent. "We didn't see the double faults like we've seen a couple of years before. You know she's been working really hard on that. Her backhand is one of the best in the business. "You know what she does better than anyone else? Finish points at net. If she sees a short ball, she never back pedals. So many players get in the mid-court, they don't trust themselves or have that experience. This is a huge advantage for her, that ability. Seamless." Gauff will be seeded seventh for the season-opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which starts on January 16 at Melbourne Park. Her best performance so far at the hard-court Grand Slam came at her debut in 2020 when she beat defending champion Naomi Osaka en route to reaching the fourth round while last year she suffered a shock first-round defeat at the hands of Wang Qiang.

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