Coco Gauff: 5 key stats behind US No 1’s clay court career

Coco Gauff will be in action in Stuttgart this week
Coco Gauff starts her 2024 clay season in Stuttgart this week

American hopes this clay court season sit firmly on the shoulders of Coco Gauff.

The world No 3 – and highest ranked American across either the WTA or ATP Tours – is the biggest star in the US game, and there are high hopes she can thrive on a surface that hasn’t always been kind to her compatriots.

Despite being only 20, Gauff’s early career breakthrough means that she has already built up a significant level of experience on the dirt, with this being the fifth season where she tackles the clay swing.

Ahead of her opening clay match of the season against Sachia Vickery in Stuttgart, we look at how she has fared on the surface in the past.

French Open win percentage: 79%

Though the greatest Slam moment of her career is  her US Open triumph, the French Open has been the most consistent of the four majors for her.

Gauff reached the final in 2022 and was also a quarter-finalist in 2021 and 2023, with an overall 15-4 record at the year’s second major.

It is the only Grand Slam where she has not tasted an opening-round defeat and overall she has an impressive win rate of 79% at Roland Garros.

That is marginally higher than her 78% win rate at Flushing Meadows – but is notably higher than her win percentage of 74% across all four Slams.

WTA 1000 win percentage: 61%

Though her French Open record may be impressive, she has not had as much success at WTA 1000 level.

She reached the semi-final of the Italian Open in 2021 but has failed to get past the third round on her three other campaigns there, and has never made it past that stage in three attempts in Madrid.

With 8-4 and 3-3 records across Rome and Madrid respectively, Gauff has a win percentage of 61% across these two tournaments.

This is slightly down on her overall WTA 1000 win percentage of 65%, and significantly down on her clay performances elsewhere.

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Overall win percentage: 71%

Gauff’s win rate at WTA 1000 level dips compared to her Slam record, but overall she has a strong record on the surface.

As of the end of 2023, the 20-year-old has played 49 matches on clay and has compiled a 35-14 record, leaving her with a win percentage of 71.4% across her career.

In comparison, by the end of 2023, she had a win rate of 68.5% on hard courts and 66.7% on grass courts, meaning that her clay win percentage is above her career win percentage of 69%.

Career titles: one

Though the bulk of the season is played on hard courts, it is surprising that only one of her seven WTA singles titles has come on the dirt.

That came at the WTA 250-level Emilia Romagna Open in 2021 where, as the third seed, Gauff beat Wang Qiang 6-1, 6-3 to win what was the second title of her career.

The rest of her career titles have all come on hard, while her loss to Iga Swiatek in the French Open final two years ago remains her only loss in a WTA singles final.

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Top 10 record: 2-4

Across all surfaces Gauff has a mixed record against top 10 opponents, winning 16 of her 41 matches against such opposition.

And just two of her 16 wins have come on clay courts, with victory over then world No 4 Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round of Rome in 2021, before then No 1 Ash Barty retired injured in their last eight contest.

The US star was beaten by Karolina Pliskova in Madrid in 2021 and Maria Sakkari in Rome in 2022, with back-to-back losses to Swiatek at Roland Garros in 2022 and 2023.

Her 33% win rate against top 10 opponents on the dirt is just below her career percentage of 39%.

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