Coco Gauff ‘credits and thanks’ former world No 1 for ‘most meaningful two days of practice I’ve ever had’

Shahida Jacobs
Coco Gauff in action
Coco Gauff of the USA tosses the ball

Coco Gauff has been sending down some booming serves at this year’s Australian Open and she believes it is due to the work she put in with former world No 1 Andy Roddick during the off-season.

Reigning US Open champion Gauff won her 10th consecutive Grand Slam match on Friday as she defeated fellow American Alycia Parks 6-0, 6-2 in just over an hour in the third round at Melbourne Park.

One feature of the teenager’s game so far this year has been the slight improvements on her serve – not that it was bad before.

Gauff has the fastest serve so far at the Australian Open at 199km/h and she has won 80% of her first-serve points in the first three rounds.

After her win over Parks, the 19-year-old explained how small adjustments and the work with Roddick helped her to be more consistent.

“I just adjusted the way that I tossed the ball up a little bit, which allowed my toss to be more consistent,” she told the Eurosport Cube. “Then I just felt that the more consistent my serve is, the more I’m ok with going for it in those big moments.

“I still know I can improve on it, but I’m really happy with the progress that I’ve made in the short amount of time.

“He [Roddick] is one of the best servers ever, so when he offered the advice I flew to his home and we made some magic. It was only two days there, but I think it was the most meaningful two days of practice that I’ve ever had.

“The way I was able to adjust it so quickly and for it to work right away was pretty seamless, so I really credit him and thank him for taking the time to do that.”

READ MORE: Brad Gilbert reveals how a former world No 1 has helped improve a key Coco Gauff shot

Gauff will face Magdalena Fręch in the fourth round and victory and if she gets through that she will face either Marta Kostyuk or Maria Timofeeva in the quarter-final.

After a nervous start, the American is playing with a lot more freedom and confidence.

“I was a little nervous in the first round, but in the last two matches, I wasn’t nervous at all,” she said. “It does give you a lot of confidence because I felt my best tennis I played last year was during the DC 500 tournament.

“I didn’t even feel like I played my best during the US Open and it’s really those matches that you win when you’re not playing your best is what gives you that confidence.

“Going into this tournament, I know I can do it.”