World No. 8 Cori Gauff admits this part of the season is very mentally challenging but noted she wants to cap off her year on a strong way. Following the conclusion of the US Open, the tennis season officially entered its final stage.
After losing in the US Open quarterfinal to Caroline Garcia, Gauff took a one-month break. This week, she is returning to action at the San Diego Open. “I definitely think this is probably the toughest part of the season for everyone just because all the Grand Slams are over so you’re just trying to, get through the, the end of the season and you see the finish line.
But for me I’m just motivated to try to finish it as well as I can and I’m glad that, you know, San Diego’s kind of the start of the end," Gauff said.
Gauff on how doubles success helped her for singles
Gauff captured her first doubles title of the season in February, when she and Jessica Pegula won Doha.
Then, Gauff made the Miami semifinal with McNally and also finished runner-up with Zhang Shuai in Stuttgart. At the French Open, Gauff made the finals in both singles and doubles events. “I had at first was just having a lot more doubles success in the beginning of the year than singles and then that transferred into my singles.
So I definitely helped think it helps with momentum and getting you back in, into, I guess, match readiness," Gauff added. This week, 18-year-old Gauff is making her debut on the hard courts of San Diego. In the San Diego Open main draw, Gauff is the sixth-seeded player.
In her San Diego opener, Gauff plays qualifier Robin Montgomery. Gauff hasn't played in a while but hard suits her game well and she is definitely considered among favorites for the San Diego title. It remains to be seen if Gauff can win her first singles title of the year this week.