Coco Gauff's coach Brad Gilbert blasts Paula Badosa after Rome match

Gilbert seemingly thought Badosa was using some sneaky tactics during a Rome match versus Gauff.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff's coach Brad Gilbert blasts Paula Badosa after Rome match
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Coco Gauff's coach Brad Gilbert thought some of Paula Badosa's actions during her match versus the American tennis star were "beyond ridiculous" as the coach wasn't happy at all with the Spaniard often tossing the ball in the air to serve, only to catch it with her hand and then start her service motion again. 

On Monday, world No. 3 Gauff overcame a really difficult test in Rome as she needed three sets and a comeback to beat former world No. 2 Badosa 5-7 6-4 6-1 in nearly two and a half hours of play. 

Throughout the match, both players were creating break point chances, especially Gauff - who had 16 break points compared to Badosa's nine. But something stuck to Gilbert's eye as Badosa often repeating her service motion led to him believing that it was intentional and probably a sneaky tactic to disrupt Gauff's focus on the return. 

Paula Badosa
Paula Badosa © Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

Although Gilbert didn't mention Badosa by name, it was pretty apparent that he was referring to her in his post-match post on X. 

"You have heard me say this so many times, catching your on ball toss on serve should not be allowed, how can you catch three tosses in a row and not at least get time violation is beyond ridiculous, also allowing 45 catches in a match and nothing in rules is mind boggling and such disadvantage to returner," Gilbert wrote on X after the Gauff and Badosa match.

Badosa and Gauff spoke very highly of each other before their match

Before meeting Gauff in the Rome round-of-16, the 26-year-old Spaniard shared that the 2023 US Open champion reached out to her during her injury period to check how she was doing with her back issues. Although the act itself wasn't something particurly big, it meant a lot to Badosa to see a fellow player and a top star like Gauff asking about her. 

“She was texting, checking in. I love when there’s great athletes -- and a nicer person. Always wish these kind of players the best," Badosa said of Gauff in Rome.

When told about Badosa's comments, Gauff spoke very highly of the Spaniard as a player and person. 

"Yeah, I mean, Paula and I, we aren't close friends, but we are friendly with each other. I think she's a nice girl. She's always been nice. Her team has always been nice practice," Gauff said of Badosa when asked about the Spaniard publicly showing appreciation for her act," Gauff said of Badosa. 

"I think she's a player that loves to play tennis. Unfortunate with all the injuries she'd had trying to come back. Something else happening...

"I felt compelled to just send her a message. I do that with most players on tour that I know. I'll send a message if I have their number or if we follow each other on Instagram.

"Definitely I think we're pretty friendly on tour. We aren't close friends. We're definitely in different stages. I feel like that's a lot of me on tour. I think she's 25 maybe, so five years' age gap. We're never going to be close friends, but I'm definitely friendly with her on tour. I always root for her.

"It's going to be tough playing her. It is a tough matchup for me. I think she's getting back to her top form. She was No. 2 in the world, playing well. She's always dangerous regardless of how the past weeks have gone."

Coco Gauff and Paula Badosa
Coco Gauff and Paula Badosa© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

What Gauff said of the Badosa win after the Rome match?

After Badosa claimed the first break of the match in the seventh game, Gauff didn't allow the Spaniard to serve out for the opener in the 10th game. But just after getting the break back, Gauff dropped her serve again and this time Badosa managed to serve out for the opener in the 12th game.

In the second set, Gauff was creating break point opportunities and breaking Badosa but she was also struggling to keep her breaks. But after twice blowing a break, Gauff managed to break Badosa again in the 10th game - but this time won the set since the Spaniard was serving to stay in the second set. 

At the start of the third set, Gauff found herself down by an early break. But after dropping her serve in the first game of the decider, Gauff responded by winning the next six games to complete her comeback win over Badosa.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

"Yeah, I'm really happy with how I was able to manage today. I think the match was a high level. She played really well. Yeah, I'm happy to get through," Gauff said after beating Badosa.

Coco Gauff Brad Gilbert Paula Badosa