Coco Gauff candidly opens up going from 'lowest point' to 'a high' in 2023

Gauff went through the worst before experiencing the best in 2023.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff candidly opens up going from 'lowest point' to 'a high' in 2023
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Coco Gauff felt at her lowest after a very disappointing Wimbledon first-round loss but that's also the moment where everything changed for the better for the 19-year-old American. 

Gauff, who entered 2023 Wimbledon hoping to contend for the title, ended up exiting the tournament in the first round after Sofia Kenin handed the world No. 3 a shock 6-4 4-6 6-2 loss. After the match, Gauff looked evidently crushed and dejected. 

At that time, Gauff felt that she needed a change and something different. That's when she contacted Brad Gilbert - the coach who famously worked with Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick. 

When Gauff returned to action during the North American hard-court swing, she was absolutely impressive as she went 18-1. Gauff's summer on hard courts included becoming a Grand Slam champion at the US Open and also lifting her first WTA 1000 title in Cincinnati. Also, Gauff won a WTA 500 tournament in Washington and became the highest-ranked American female tennis player after the US Open.

“After Wimbledon, I reached the lowest point of my career, losing that match. Learning from it helped me push forward and I think sometimes you need those setbacks to push you forward," Gauff said in Auckland ahead of her first tournament of 2024.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Gauff on becoming a Grand Slam champion at the US Open

After winning titles in Washington and Cincinnati, Gauff entered the US Open considered among the top favorites for the title. While Gauff had a very strong lead-up to the US Open, some feared if the 19-year-old would be able to handle the massive pressure and expectations that she was facing.

Early in the tournament, Gauff wasn't really playing her best and many felt that she was indeed impacted by pressure and expectations in some ways. But Gauff was finding ways to win as three of her opening four wins at the US Open came in three sets. 

Then, Gauff beat Jelena Ostapenko and Karolina Muchova in straight sets to reach her first US Open final. In the final, Gauff recovered from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka 2-6 6-3 6-2 and lift her first Grand Slam title in front of her home fans.

“That feeling I felt on match point was a high and I want to continue to chase that high,” Gauff said.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Cluve Brunskill

In 2022, Gauff made her first Grand Slam final at the French Open. But Gauff didn't really stand much of a chance in her first Grand Slam final as Iga Swiatek beat the American 6-1 6-3 in the 2022 French Open. When the 2023 season started, Gauff said her goal was to win a Grand Slam while she was still a teenager. 

“I felt like I had a clock and I needed to win as a teenager. Just for how I started, with Wimbledon (she made the Wimbledon round-of-16 at 15 in 2019) and everything, I felt like I just needed to," Gauff admitted. 

Gauff is now more relaxed and it will be interesting to see if she can win back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open.

Coco Gauff