Serena Williams' ex-coach tells Coco Gauff why Iga Swiatek routinely won their match

Swiatek handed Gauff a 6-2 6-4 loss in the French Open semifinal.

by Dzevad Mesic
Serena Williams' ex-coach tells Coco Gauff why Iga Swiatek routinely won their match
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Serena Williams' ex-coach Patrick Mouratoglou identified three reasons behind Coco Gauff's French Open loss to Iga Swiatek with "technical issues on the forehand" being one of the biggest reasons since the Pole heavily exploited that. 

On Thursday, reigning US Open champion Gauff was hoping to reach her third Grand Slam final but didn't succeed in her goal after Swiatek easily handled the business against her and gave her a 6-2 6-4 loss. 

When the match started, it was evident that Gauff wanted to be aggressive and not wait for anything. But unfortunately for Gauff, it wasn't really working as the American dropped her serve in the first and fifth games but also missed out on break points in the second and fourth games. 

Early in the second set, Gauff earned her first break of the match for a 3-1 lead but then lost the next four games as Swiatek went on to complete a two-set win. 

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek
Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Reflecting on the match, Mouratoglou says it was pretty evident that a big part of Swiatek's game was to target Gauff's forehand - which many believe still needs technical improvements despite the 20-year-old's success. Then, Mouratoglou said that it didn't look that Gauff "had a real game plan" and also added that the American didn't do a good job in the most important points and moments of the match. 

Mouratoglou lists three reasons that led to Gauff's defeat to Swiatek 

“I would have liked not to tell you about Gauff’s forehand, but there is a real technical problem. And it is true that Iga Swiatek played excessively on that side, and she did well,” Mouratoglou told France TV.

“I think there are three reasons why the match didn’t give the fight we would have liked. First, I didn’t see a real game plan from Coco, I found that she was typing everything in all directions and that it wasn’t really constructed.

“We didn’t really know what meaning she wanted to give to her match. Then, there was this weakness on the forehand side which was exploited very well by Swiatek. And then, there is the management of the important points because there were still plenty of chances and, each time, it was Swiatek who was the best.

“So when you don’t manage important points well, when you have a big weakness and when the game plan is not clear, it’s difficult to win.”

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Tim Goode

What Gauff said after losing to Swiatek for the 11th time?

When Gauff and Swiatek met in the French Open semifinal, they were playing against each other for the 12th time. While Gauff is a Grand Slam champion and she will be the second-ranked player in the world on Monday, she just doesn't seem to have an answer for Swiatek as the Pole now leads their head-to-head 11-1.

At one point last year, Swiatek had a 7-0 head-to-head versus Gauff but her perfect record came to an end after the American won their Cincinnati match. At the time, Gauff was hoping that win signaled the start of something more positive in her matches versus Swiatek. But that hasn't happened as the Polish world No. 1 has since claimed four consecutive straight-set wins over the 20-year-old American.

Going forward, Gauff admits she wants to improve and do better in her next meetings versus Swiatek.

“I can't sit here and say it's something I'm not going to want to turn around. I have to be positive and believe in myself,” Gauff said after her latest loss to Swiatek.

“Today I felt very confident going into the match. I know that there are things that I can improve to make this a closer scoreline. Like, first-serve percentage was pretty low, I think. From Rome to this week I improved a lot on my serve. Even though it's not where I want it to be, but going from, like, 15 double faults to maybe three or four today, I don't know, it's a big improvement.

“I don't feel like my game is all the way developed yet. I feel like when I… reach my peak, then I can maybe answer the question, but I definitely don't think I'm there yet.”

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Tim Goode

If everything goes as planned, Gauff should quickly return to action as she is scheduled to open her grass season at a WTA 500 tournament in Berlin, which starts on June 17th. Since Swiatek is also on Berlin's entry list, Gauff could potentially meet the Pole as soon as later this month. 

In her previous two Berlin appearances, Gauff was a semifinalist in 2022 while she lost in the round-of-16 last year.

Serena Williams Coco Gauff Iga Swiatek