Chris Evert identifies the big weak spot in Coco Gauff’s game

Kevin Palmer
Coco Gauff in action
Coco Gauff hits a forehand

Coco Gauff has struggled to make the final leap toward winning a Grand Slam singles title and now tennis legend Chris Evert has identified a weak spot in her game.

The 19-year-old American has been one of the biggest stars in tennis since her breakthrough win against the great Venus Williams at Wimbledon when she was just 15 in 2019.

While Gauff has topped the WTA doubles rankings and reached a Grand Slam singles final at last year’s French Open, the major win she craves has yet to arrive.

Gauff may not feel the need to take advice from too many voices in the game, but when 18-time Grand Slam champion Evert gives the guidance, it is worth noting.

Speaking to Tennis365 at a Eurosport event, the American suggested her youthful compatriot needs to improve one key shot to land a Grand Slam win.

“If you were to ask me when Coco was 15 and she beat Venus at Wimbledon whether she would have a major by the time she was 19, I would have said yes,” began Evert.

“I would have thought she would have won a major by now. She came close last year at the French, but I just think her forehand with the extreme western grip has delayed her first major. It’s held her back a little bit.

“She has been on the tour for four years. She has the experience, the confidence and she can hold her nerve. She has an excellent serve when it is on and a world class backhand.

“Now the players are hitting to her forehand as they recognise it is the weaker side. Until she gets that ironed out or has a really great day on her forehand, I see that as something that should be a discussion with her team.

“I don’t want to say it is a problem, but what are they going to do about that?”

Evert also insisted the WTA Tour does not need Gauff and Britain’s Emma Raducanu to carry the women’s game at a time when it is battling for media coverage.

“Coco is there. She has given the WTA a lot of press over the last few years and she is a superstar. She is doing fine with that,” added Evert.

“Emma has had some problems since she won the US Open, but she is going to have some time away from the game now and she can think about what she wants to do next.

“I’m not worried about the women’s game because there are a lot of interesting stories out there.

“Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Paulo Badosa, Ons Jabeur… there are a lot of players out there who have their own stories and they can also promote women’s tennis.”

Sabalenka confirmed her status as one of the biggest threats to Swiatek after beating the world No 1 in the final of the Madrid Open on Sunday and now we wait to see whether Gauff can get in the mix for the big titles over the course of this summer.

READ MORE: WTA Italian Open draw: Iga Swiatek handed tough path as Elena Rybakina clash lurks

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