Coco Gauff shares role boyfriend had in overcoming heartbreaking Australian Open loss

Gauff's run of 12 consecutive Grand Slam wins came to an end against Sabalenka at this year's Australian Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff shares role boyfriend had in overcoming heartbreaking Australian Open loss
© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Coco Gauff needed a recharge following her Australian Open loss to Aryna Sabalenka as the American tennis star took a couple of days off and also had her boyfriend fly to her town so they could spend some time together. 

After kicking off her season with a title in Auckland, 19-year-old Gauff continued her fine form at the Australian Open and made her first semifinal at Melbourne Park. Riding a 10-match winning streak and coming two wins away from winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles, Gauff saw her campaign come to an end in the semifinal following a 6-7 (2) 4-6 loss to Sabalenka.

Although Gauff ended up losing in straight sets to Sabalenka, it was a very tight contest where a couple of points and moments decided the match.  

Early in the first set, Gauff managed to recover from a break down but then got broken again in the sixth game and Sabalenka ultimately opened a 5-3 lead. Just when it seemed Gauff was about to lose the first set, the American got the break back in the ninth game - saved a set point in the 10th game - broke Sabalenka again in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead and a chance to serve out for the first set. 

Serving for the first set, Gauff had 30/0 on her serve before stunningly losing the next four points and allowing Sabalenka to force a tie-break. After breaking Gauff in such a way, Sabalenka started the tie-break with a 4-0 lead before ultimately winning it with a 7-2 scoreline.

In the second set, no breaks were seen until late in the set, when Sabalenka broke Gauff for a 5-4 lead before serving out for the match in the following game.

"I would say that the first night I was like still thinking about the things that went on in that match. You know, I felt like it was decided by a couple of points," Gauff told Sky Sports.

"And then after that, I flew home and then what did I do? Oh, I took off like four days; four-five days. My boyfriend came in town so I hung out with him. 

"And then I was really happy to get back on the practice court. I felt good to just be at home. We’ve built a court in my house so practicing is always very easygoing than at tournaments." 

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina

Gauff spoke with her boyfriend the night before the US Open final 

Before losing to Sabalenka in this year's Australian Open semifinal, Gauff defeated the Belarusian 2-6 6-3 6-2 in the 2023 US Open final for her first Grand Slam title. After losing the 2022 French Open final to Iga Swiatek, 19-year-old Gauff managed to win her second Slam final and lift her first Major title. 

After beating Sabalenka in the 2023 US Open final, Gauff was asked when the visions of becoming a Grand Slam champion at the US Open became real. Gauff revealed that happened only the night before the US Open final and that's when she decided to call her boyfriend and speak with him for hours before going to sleep. 

"Honestly, I didn't have any of those visions till last night. You know, I thought about it, but I told myself to get it out of my head, because that's what I did at French. I was envisioning, you know, what would happen if I would win. I think I wanted it too much," Gauff said after winning the US Open.

"Last night, I started a little bit, but honestly, I just called my boyfriend, and I told him let's talk until it's time to go to sleep so we spoke until 1:00 am and then I went to sleep.

"I woke up this morning. When I lost the first set I still felt I was into the match and I said, you know, I'm going to give it my all. You know, whatever happens happens.

"Even on that match point, you know, 40-Love, like, technically the match was on my racket. It didn't feel like I had won. It was crazy. I was just trying my best to just focus on the point ahead of me."

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Gauff loses early in her first tournament since the Australian Open 

Although Gauff came to the Middle East recharged and ready to compete again at this week's WTA 1000 event in Doha, she shockingly ended up losing very early. Gauff, who was the No. 2 seed in the Doha main draw, shockingly bowed out of the tournament in her opening match after Katerina Siniakova handed out the American a 6-2 6-4 loss. 

After making a slow start to the match and losing the first set, Gauff had a 4-0 lead in the second set. Just when it seemed Gauff was heating up and about to make a big comeback, she lost the next six games as Siniakova ended up sealing a two-set win.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

While losing early in Doha wasn't ideal, Gauff won't have to wait for too long to get back on the right track as the world No. 3 is set to play again at next week's WTA 1000 event in Dubai. Gauff, who made the Dubai semifinal last year, is set for her fourth consecutive appearance at the tournament. 

After a very disappointing Doha run, there is no doubt that Gauff will be very motivated to do better in Dubai.

Coco Gauff Australian Open