According to renowned tennis coach Eric Riley, Coco Gauff needs to make significant changes to her game if she hopes to compete in a Grand Slam in 2024.
Gauff’s incredible 2023 campaign came to an end as she defeated Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the US Open final to earn her first Grand Slam title. She successfully defended her title at the ASB Classic to start the year, showing her continued success in 2024.
Riley recently complimented Gauff for making it to the Australian Open semifinals during a podcast interview. He did warn, though, that it was simpler to rise through the ranks as an underdog than to live up to expectations as a front-runner.
Riley said: “Now Coco won the US Open, and she followed it up with a Grand Slam semi, right? That’s exceptional. It’s much easier to climb the ranks when you’re an underdog than when you’re expected to win.”
Riley continued by saying that Gauff’s coach, Brad Gilbert, will make sure the 19-year-old doesn’t decline. Gilbert has experience working with players like Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.
He further said: “Obviously, Coco Gauff having Brad Gilbert in her corner, who’s an experienced coach, that’s going to be good for them because he’s not going to let her slip.”
Riley went on to say that Gilbert would know exactly that Gauff’s 2023 US Open victory would not be sufficient to secure her second Grand Slam victory in 2024. He claimed that for Gauff to succeed this season, she needed to confront her shortcomings and make the required adjustments.
Riley concluded his discussion and said: “Because he understands that what won the US Open, the quality of the work she did to win the US Open [in 2023] is not going to win in 2024; it’s not going to win a major. So, Brad knows that, and she’s going to have to play better this year, and she’s going to have to improve. This means she has to, as I said earlier, work on weaknesses, build confidence, and have a purposeful practice where you’ve got to work your tail off because you’ve got a target on your back. It doesn’t get easy now; it gets harder.”
"You have to have purposeful practice and you've got to work your tail off because you've got a target on your back."
Coco Gauff in 2024
Until now, during this year Gauff achieved a compiled 10-1 record. Coco clinched 1 title in Auckland.
Gauff is scheduled to play next in Doha (Qatar TotalEnergies Open). She will start the tournament from the main draw that will commence on the 12th of February.