Coco Gauff backs her game on clay to bag her success

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Coco Gauff in action Credit: Alamy
Coco Gauff in action Credit: Alamy

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.

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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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