Coco Gauff backs her game on clay to bag her success
Coco Gauff believes that her game makes her a bigger threat on clay even if she prefers playing on hard courts.
Gauff reached her first Grand Slam final on clay at the 2022 French Open and holds a 73% success rate on the surface.
She was made aware of her stats after her opening round win in Madrid.
“I mean, if that’s what the numbers say, then it must be true. I think definitely, I am a little bit more dangerous on clay — specially my style of play,” Gauff told Prakash Amritraj of the Tennis Channel.
“I would say, feeling wise, I still am a hardcourt gal,” she noted.
Gauff joked that she is hardly the WTA Tour’s Rafael Nadal.
“Obviously, 73% – it’s not quite like Rafa – what is he at? 90%? Or 90 something percent at French Open,” she said.
“But you know, I’ll take my 70. Hopefully, I can get up there one day.”
Gauff takes confidence from her run to the championship match in Paris last year and hopes for another big swing.
“I have a little bit more confidence. I know I have the game to make it to the Roland Garros final. I know I have the mentality,” she said.
Gauff claimed her first title earlier this season in Auckland and believes the final hurdle to a clay court title is all mental.
“I think now it’s just about that final step of reaching there and erasing self-doubts and really believing in myself,” she added.
Despite her high profile on the WTA Tour, Gauff still feels like a younger player with a lot to learn.
“I’ve been here awhile. I feel like I’ve played most of the tournaments…But yeah, I feel on the game and inexperience-wise, I’m still on the younger end compared to some other players,” she said.
Gauff said that she couldn’t possibly know what it would feel like for her to win a Grand Slam.
“It’s a question for which I won’t have an answer until the time comes, until I’ve taken that step,” she added.
“I know I have to adjust some tactical aspects, but you don’t know how you’ll feel about going to win a Grand Slam final, it’s impossible until you do.
“We’ll see if I can do it, that day I’ll answer the question better.”
No 6 seed Gauff will face 26th seed Paula Badosa in the Round of 32 of the Mutua Madrid Open.
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