Coco Gauff tells how massive anxiety derailed her going into 2022 French Open final

In her first Grand Slam final versus Iga Swiatek, Gauff won a total of four games.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Coco Gauff tells how massive anxiety derailed her going into 2022 French Open final
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Coco Gauff reveals she suffered from anxiety attacks before the 2022 French Open final as the American tennis star now says she ended on the losing side before even stepping on the court to play against Iga Swiatek. 

In 2022, an 18-year-old Gauff made her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. In her first Grand Slam final, Gauff was scheduled for an extremely difficult task as she was playing against Swiatek, who at the time already had a French Open title - was in the midst of a big winning streak - and she was also widely considered the best clay court player in the game. 

Going into the final, Swiatek was considered the favorite and Gauff the underdog. In the end, there were no surprises as Swiatek routinely beat Gauff 6-1 6-3. 

In an interview with TIME, Gauff revealed she cried in the bathroom after losing the first set. When the second set started, Gauff claimed an early break but Swiatek quickly erased it and went on to complete a dominant win.

“I had a lot of anxiety attacks before that final. It felt like life or death. It felt hard to breathe. I lost that match before I stepped on the court," Gauff told TIME.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse
 

Gauff did much better in her second Grand Slam final

Last September, Gauff reached her second Grand Slam final at the US Open and again didn't start well. But this time, Gauff showed much better mental strength and became a Grand Slam champion at 19 after coming back from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka 2-6 6-3 6-2.

“I feel like I won the match before I even stepped on the court,” Gauff said.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Gauff, who turned 20 in March, now wants more Slam wins. 

“I always knew I wanted to try to win multiple Grand Slams. Sometimes people get unmotivated after winning one. That hasn’t been a personal challenge for me," Gauff noted.

After winning the US Open, Gauff was a semifinalist at this year's Australian Open.

Coco Gauff French Open Iga Swiatek
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