Coco Gauff’s coach gets ‘so many texts’ telling him to take drastic action

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Coco Gauff may now be a Grand Slam champion, but that hasn’t stopped her coach from being inundated with people telling him to alter an aspect of her game. The 19-year-old became the new world No. 3 when she defeated second seed Aryna Sabelanka in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows last weekend.

Gauff found herself a set down but fought back to secure a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory, resulting in her maiden major title. She also became the first teenager to win the US Open since Serena Williams did as a 17-year-old in 1999.

The young American’s success has arrived despite receiving previous criticism about her forehand amid suggestions that she needs to change her grip.

She is now coached by Brad Gilbert, who can count Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray among his former clients. But former world No. 4 Gilbert does not seem concerned by Gauff’s style and is in no rush to change it.

When asked about Gauff’s forehand issues earlier this year, he told the WTA: “You can’t just change a grip without changing the arc of the swing, so that’s a big change. My guess is, from what we’ve seen, we don’t need to.

“I never got so many texts for so many days, saying ‘Fix her forehand!’ Man, you don’t just fix something like that on the fly.”

Gilbert replaced Diego Moyano as Gauff’s coach in April 2023 before being joined by Spanish veteran Pere Riba in the world No. 3’s team.

The Californian trainer drew a comparison with his time coaching British favourite Murray to explain why he should be in no rush to make drastic changes to Gauff’s technique.

“When I started with Andy Murray [in 2006], everybody was telling me, ‘He’s just a pusher.’ And yet he wins. Everybody mentions the forehand criticism about Coco, and yet she wins. I’m certainly not worried about it in any way, shape or form,” he said.

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Gilbert’s reluctance to alter the way his client plays has been borne out by her results. Since hiring her new coach, Gauff has won 18 of her last 19 matches and claimed a WTA 500 and WTA 1000 title as well as the US Open.

The instant success has arrived despite the teenager having had reservations about working with a more senior figure.

“I was worried about being with the older person, to be honest, before I met Brad,” said Gauff. “He’s older but he still has the mind of, like, a 20-year-old, maybe even younger, a 10-year-old kid sometimes.”

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