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'I'm going to set goals improvement wise'- Gauff seeks improvements after breakthrough 2019

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 1 Dec 2019
  • Rising American star, Coco Gauff says her main priority heading into the new season will be to improve her game, rather than focusing on numbers and achievements
  • Gauff climbed over 600 places in a breakthrough 2019 season
Coco Gauff (PA Sport)

Rising American star, Coco Gauff says her main focus is on improving her game, rather achievements and results, as she prepares for the 2020 season.

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Gauff enjoyed an excellent junior career, reaching No. 1 in the world and winning the 2018 French Open Girls title, but she has wasted very little time in making her mark on the professional game, bursting onto the scene in a stunning 2019.

The 15-year-old sensation charged up the rankings in 2019, climbing over 600 spots to end the season at a career-high No. 68 in the world. Beyond the numbers and the results, Gauff is aware that she is still very much in the developmental phase of her career, and is looking to improve certain aspects of her game heading into the 2020 season.

“For the offseason, fitness wise, it’s maintaining and improving what I already have. There’s not much I need to correct,” she indicated. “Tennis wise, step into the court more, take more chances, hit through my forehand and improve overall my game”.  
“This year, I set a lot of goals number wise, which put a lot of pressure on me. Next year, I’m going to set goals improvement wise, not set a ranking goal or a tournament goal. Just improving”.

The teen sensation was a relative unknown up until Wimbledon 2019, but she made a grand entrance on to the big stage at the All England Club, reaching the fourth round in her maiden Grand Slam appearance. 

Not content with being the youngest player in the Open Era to qualify for Wimbledon, Gauff launched a sensational run to the fourth round, scoring wins over the legendary Venus Williams, former Wimbledon semi-finalist, Magdalena Rybarikova and WTA mainstay, Polona Hercog. Her tournament was terminated by eventual champion, Simona Halep, but the American maintained her sharp rise through the year, making the third round at the US Open before claiming her maiden tour-level title in Linz.

Gauff only entered Linz as a lucky loser, but she definitely made the most of that second chance! A brilliant week also featured her first top-ten win- against Kiki Bertens in the quarter finals- as she became the youngest WTA titlist in 15 years and the ninth youngest in the history of the tour. 

“It was a roller coaster that didn’t really come down,” she said about her 2019 season. “Now it’s coming down cause of the offseason. It was a great year for me". “Looking back, it’s surprising, but at that moment I don’t go on the court thinking I’m going to lose – it’s not the right mentality to have. I expected and wanted to win.”

Gauff is scheduled to begin the new season in Auckland, while she will also compete at the Australian Open, but she is yet to finalize her post-Melbourne plans. Because of the WTA's Age Eligibility Rule, the 15-year-old can only play three more tour-level tournaments before her 16th birthday in March. That third tournament will likely be at Indian Wells, but the American is keeping that option open.

“I’m playing Auckland and the Australian Open. After that, I don’t really know. We have an idea, but with the tournament limit, things could change last minute. I’ve got one more tournament before I turn 16. Most likely it would be Indian Wells, but it could change depending on how I do."

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"I'm going to set goals improvement wise"- Gauff seeks improvements after breakthrough 2019

Rising American star, Coco Gauff says her main priority heading into the new season will be to improve her game, rather than focusing on numbers and achievements.

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