Emma Navarro reveals how she exploited Coco Gauff’s frustration – ‘It’s definitely a little bit of a confidence boost’

Shahida Jacobs
Emma Navarro beat Coco Gauff
Emma Navarro got the better of Coco Gauff

Emma Navarro believes attacking Coco Gauff’s forehand was key to her fourth-round win at Wimbledon while she also received a “confidence boost” from the world No 2’s frustration with her coaching box.

Reigning US Open champion Gauff was the hot favourite ahead of the match and was expected run away with things after breaking to love in the fifth game, but Navarro broke back immediately and then dominated as she came away with a 6-4, 6-3 win.

Gauff made 25 unforced errors – most of them on her forehand – and hit just 12 winners and Navarro admitted during her post-match press conference that her game plan was to go after the forehand.

“I really wanted to attack her forehand. I think she wanted to do the same to me. We found ourselves in a lot of forehand cross-court rallies. It was kind of a cat and mouse, who’s going to change the pattern first,” the American said.

“I love matches like that where it feels like it’s not just a hitting or striking competition, there’s strategy involved. It feels like a chess match or something. That was really enjoyable for me.

“Then, yeah, I wanted to attack her serve, make her feel like if she’s hitting a second serve, I don’t want her to be comfortable on her second serve, consequentially not comfortable on her first serve.

“Same on my serve, attacking her forehand, making her hit a ton of forehand returns. Yeah, during rallies staying close enough up to the baseline where I’m not giving her too much time.”

Gauff cut a frustrated figure at times during the match and she revealed afterwards that she wanted more input from her team in the coaching box.

“I think today mentally there was a lot going on. I felt like I wanted more direction from the box,” the 20-year-old said after the match.

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Navarro made the most of the opportunity.

“Yeah, it’s definitely a little bit of a confidence boost, just knowing that your game plan is doing what you wanted it to do,” the 23-year-old, who is projected to rise to a new career-high of No 14 after Wimbledon, said.

“I don’t normally give the other side of the court too much energy. I keep it on my side of the court. Yeah, I guess seeing her kind of frustrated and looking at her box, putting her arms up in the air, it’s definitely a little bit of a confidence boost.

“Yeah, I guess it maybe gave me a little bit of momentum and just some energy that I needed.”