Coco Gauff makes startling revelation on how was her mental state after Wimbledon

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Sportem
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Coco Gauff made quite a revelation regarding her huge North American hard-court success as the American shares she felt “terrible” after Wimbledon and in her mind just wanted to get through the second part of 2023 and try to get herself in the right mental space for the 2024 Australian Open. 

After losing in the 2023 Australian Open round-of-16 and also exiting the French Open in the quarterfinal, Gauff suffered a shock 4-6 6-4 2-6 loss to Sofia Kenin in the Wimbledon first round. For Gauff, it was a heartbreaking and devastating moment and it looked like she hit a new low after struggling for some time to elevate herself to another level. At the time, there was also a lot of talk about the American’s forehand not functioning well and rivals taking advantage of it.

Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney

 

Considering the circumstances, Gauff wasn’t really considered among the top favorites for the biggest titles during the North American hard-court swing since she was looking low on confidence. But then, Gauff started her summer on hard courts with a victory at a WTA 500 tournament in Washington. Two weeks after lifting the Washington crown, Gauff also won her first WTA 1000 title in Cincinnati – she defeated world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the semifinal en route to winning Cincinnati.

Shortly after winning the biggest title of her career in Cincinnati, Gauff also became a Grand Slam champion at the US Open – and it all happened when it seemed that the American was in a low mental state.

Gauff asked how she felt after a very early Wimbledon exit 

In her pre-tournament press conference at this week’s clay event in Stuttgart, 20-year-old Gauff was asked how she felt and if she sensed that something big could be coming up for her.

“Yeah, no, after Wimbledon I was feeling terrible, so I was, like, I just need to get through the rest of the year mentally and try to push through. My eyes were set on Australia and trying to win that,” Gauff said.

“Then, I don’t know, like, everything happened on hard court season. D.C. happened. Then Cincinnati happened. You know, even though people were saying I was a contender, all the analysts and all that, I didn’t feel like one. I was, like, fluke, I don’t know (smiling).

“I very often have imposter syndrome, so I didn’t have any hopes for anything. After I had a tough match against Laura Siegemund in the first round, I was like, well, I was happy to get out of the first round.

“I had a lot of tough matches that week at US Open, or two weeks. I can’t say that I confidently felt like I was going to win that tournament literally until I was in the final, and when I woke up the day to play the final, I just felt like no matter what happened I wasn’t going to lose that day. It was a weird feeling to have, but I just felt it.

“Then what was the second question? The one to win?

“The US Open was always the main one I wanted to win just because it’s in my home country. I’m going to go with French Open just because Paris is my favorite city. Been coming to France since I was 10 years old. It’s almost like a second home. I’m going to go with the French Open.”

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport – Sarah Stier

 

Gauff now has eyes set on the French Open

This week, Gauff is starting her clay season in Stuttgart as the German WTA 500 tournament is the first of her four planned tournaments for the clay season. After Stuttgart, Gauff also plans to compete at WTA 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome, before concluding her clay season at the French Open.

In Stuttgart, Gauff called clay one of her “favorite surfaces” and noted that she is entering this part of the year with high hopes. To no one’s surprise, the American highlighted the French Open as the main goal. However, the 20-year-old also underlined that for now, her focus remains on this week’s tournament in Stuttgart as he hopes to kickstart her clay season with a title.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney

 

In her first two Stuttgart appearances, Gauff didn’t do well, losing in the first round in 2022 and last year exiting the tournament in the round-of-16. For Gauff, making a deep Stuttgart run and coming out of a strong field that features Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina would certainly do a lot of the American’s confidence right at the start of the clay season.

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