Coco Gauff out to learn from her mistakes and notch elusive win over Iga Swiatek
Coco Gauff has admitted that her five losses to Iga Swiatek on the WTA Tour have been littered with errors on her part.
She hopes to take lessons from those five defeats into their next meeting in the WTA 1000 Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals.
Gauff gained her third semifinal at WTA 1000 level or above with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Madison Keys on Thursday.
The 18-year-old American improved her win ratio on WTA Tour quarterfinals to three in ten in the process.
“Staying present in the moment and just accepting the good shots she hit [was key],” Gauff said afterward. “I knew it was going to be a tough match, and I’m glad I was able to stay stable when I needed to.
“This is the third time we’ve played against each other, so I think we knew what each other are like. We practiced last week together in Doha, so it definitely helps. But sometimes it doesn’t help, because they know what you like to do because they play with you so much. You just have to stick to your game plan.”
Gauff believes that the pressure will be on Swiatek when they clash on Friday.
She feels that maintaining her belief that victory over the world No 1 is possible will be key to reaching another big final.
Gauff believes that she is a much better player than she was when she last met Swiatek in Forth Worth in the 2022 WTA Tour Finals.
“All five times, I did something wrong! To be honest, she’s playing great tennis and there’s a reason she’s World No.1. Tomorrow I have no pressure. I just have to play my game — I definitely think I’ve gotten better since the last time I played her. Ranking is just a number at the end of the day. You just have to step on the court believing you can win, and that’s what I’m going to do tomorrow.”
Gauff has been the recipient of a bagel in each of the last two outings against Swiatek and has never taken a set off the Pole.
On paper her best performance against Swiatek was in their first meeting in Rome in 2021 when she took her to a tiebreak in the first set.
While Swiatek hasn’t looked invincible in 2023, most of her struggles have come against big serving opponents.
Swiatek made a winning return to the WTA Tour last week as she defended her Qatar Open title.
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