Coco Gauff reveals real reasons behind another early Miami Open exit

Gauff's Miami run ended in the round-of-16 with a loss to Caroline Garcia - the fifth time she failed to make it past the last-16 in Miami.

by Dzevad Mesic
Coco Gauff reveals real reasons behind another early Miami Open exit
© Getty Images Sport - Megan Briggs

Coco Gauff dismissed claims that her Miami Open exit was influenced by extra pressure to do well in her home tournament as the American tennis star underlined that she didn't feel any nerves going into her match against Caroline Garcia. 

Gauff, who was born in Delray Beach, Florida, is a local in Miami and it is not a secret that came to this year's tournament hoping to win her first title. But on Monday, third-seeded Gauff's Miami run ended in the round-of-16 following a 3-6 6-1 2-6 loss to Garcia.

In the majority of WTA 1000 level tournaments, Gauff has had at least one deep run. But when it comes to Miami, Gauff has yet to make a really notable run. Now, the American has two round-of-16 showings in Miami - one third-round outing - and twice she lost in the second round.

When reflecting on her loss to Garcia, Gauff acknowledged there wasn't much consistency and admitted that getting broken in the second game of the third set played a big role in how the decider went.

"The match basically was an up-and-down match. She played aggressive, which I knew coming in. I think it was really important for me to just change the height of the ball, and I did that well for the majority of the second set," Gauff said.

"Then starting off the third with an early break I think just completely changed the momentum."

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Megan Briggs

After her latest Miami run that ended early, the 20-year-old was asked if extra pressure may be to blame for that. 

"Not really, no. I think honestly it's just tough matches over the years," Gauff said. 

"I mean, I feel like I know how to play with home pressure, especially after the whole U.S. swing last year, so I didn't feel any nerves coming in today or at all this week.

"I actually felt really good, because I felt like I didn't play that well in Indian Wells. Then coming here, my first two matches were good. And even today, the level could have been better, so I don't think it had anything to do with being home."

Gauff underlines every loss is tough, draws one positive from her Miami loss 

For Gauff, failing to do well in Miami certainly wasn't something she wanted. But when asked if losing at her home tournament was particularly heavy, she underlined that she pretty much gets hurt the same by every loss.

"Yes and no. I think I'm the type of person every loss kind of weighs on me heavy, especially one like today where I felt like I could have done better and I felt like I had the match in control, especially after the second," Gauff said.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Megan Briggs

Despite a very disappointing Miami loss, Gauff was able to identify one positive thing - her serve. Although Gauff faced five breaks points and got broken twice in the deciding third set, she was happy that she was able to drastically reduce her double fault numbers compared to Indian Wells. 

"Yeah, I definitely think I can. This is a tough loss. I do think one positive is the serve," Gauff said.

"You know, I got broken a lot today. I don't think it was because of my serving. I went from hitting 17 double faults in Indian Wells to I think only, like, two or three today. So I think that's something that can continue to improve, but it did in a short amount of time.

"Honestly, if anything, it kind of helps being home so I can just drive and be home and be in my own bed (smiling)."

Gauff on her next plans, the clay season 

After concluding her Sunshine Double with an Indian Wells semifinal exit and a round-of-16 Miami showing, Gauff will now turn her focus to the clay season. 

But before Gauff turns starts preparing for the clay season, she can give herself a couple of days of rest as her first scheduled clay tournament is a WTA 500 tournament in Stuttgart, which starts on April 15th. 

After Stuttgart, Gauff also plans to compete at WTA 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome before going to the French Open. For the top-ranked American female tennis player, the clear goal will be to make some notable results during the upcoming clay swing.

"Yeah, I am excited. I wish I could have did better this hard court season, but I am excited for clay. I'm playing Stuttgart as of right now, and then obviously Madrid, Rome, and French Open," Gauff said.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Christian Kaspar-Bartke

When Gauff kicks off her Stuttgart campaign in three weeks, she will be making her third appearance at the tournament. In her tournament debut in 2022, Gauff was beaten by Daria Kasatkina in the first round. Last year, the American earned her first Stuttgart win after beating Veronika Kudermetova in the first round but again exited the tournament early after losing to Anastasia Potapova in the round-of-16.

This year, Stuttgart is again set to feature a star-studded player field as Gauff is set to be joined by Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and a couple of more top-10 players. 

It remains to be seen if Gauff can start her clay season with her first big Stuttgart result.

Coco Gauff Miami Open Caroline Garcia