Ex-Slam finalist has brutal Coco Gauff warning for Iga Swiatek ahead of Wimbledon

An ex-Slam finalist explains what could happen if Gauff and Swiatek meet at Wimbledon.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ex-Slam finalist has brutal Coco Gauff warning for Iga Swiatek ahead of Wimbledon
© Getty Images Sport - Inaki Esnaola

Greg Rusedski thinks Wimbledon might be a great chance for Coco Gauff to turn the page in her rivalry against Iga Swiatek as the 1997 US Open runner-up has the 20-year-old American as one of the title favorites at The Championships but not the current world No. 1.

On her way to sealing an already her fourth French Open title, Swiatek ousted Gauff 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal as the 23-year-old Pole now has five Grand Slam titles in her collection. But for Gauff, not winning her first French Open title wasn't the only negative thing about her run at this year's Roland Garros as losing again easily to Swiatek remains a big concern - the American tennis star has just one win in 12 matches against the Pole.

However, former world No. 4 Rusedski believes that if Gauff meets Swiatek at Wimbledon, it will be a completely different situation for both players since the American is working with Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick's ex-coach Brad Gilbert, while her game is also more natural to grass than Swiatek's.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Inaki Esnaola

Rusedski explains why Wimbledon could be Gauff's chance against Swiatek 

When Wimbledon starts, Gauff will arrive in great form and with matches under her belt, having reached the final at this week's WTA 500 tournament in Berlin. On the other side, Swiatek will only have practice after pulling out of Berlin and not taking a wildcard into any of next week's grass events.

“Well I think, if you look at her (Swiatek), she’s won four French Opens, one US Open,” Rusedski said on Tennis Channel's Inside-In.

“For Coco, let’s be honest, grass against Iga, she’s licking her lips. She’s thinking, ‘That’s my time to start squaring up this rivalry’. She came to the forefront when she beat Venus Williams and announced herself to the world and the British public at Wimbledon [in 2019].

“And I think Brad Gilbert has done a great job with her, and I think they’re probably saying, ‘Okay, semis [at the French Open] is solid, we didn’t play our best in the semis. But now we got Wimbledon coming on, this is our one after winning the US Open last year.'

“So I think the rivalry will be there, but on clay (Swiatek), it’s like watching Rafa. We’ve got [Roger] Federer, [Novak] Djokovic, [Andy] Murray, [Stan] Wawrinka, all those guys. I’m sorry, it’s just, that’s what Swiatek is now.

“I’m hoping that Coco can bring her A-game to Wimbledon this year and has got a real shot to win. Let’s not forget [Aryna] Sabalenka got ill this year at the French.

“And there’s a few other names, there’s [Elena] Rybakina and players like that on the grass courts. So Wimbledon’s wide open. And you’re talking about Wimbledon coming up — Swiatek is not one of the favorites for the title.”

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Maja Hitij

Gauff's confession after her latest defeat to Swiatek

After getting bounced in straight sets in each of her first seven matches against Swiatek, Gauff earned a three-set win over the world No. 1 on the hard courts of Cincinnati last year. But since then, the 23-year-old Pole has had four straight-set wins over the 20-year-old. 

Before taking on Swiatek in the French Open semifinal, Gauff said she believed that she could do it. And when the match started, the American was going for her shots and was looking very aggressive out there. But unfortunately for her, the new five-time Grand Slam champion tamed her game and again clinched a routine win. 

After the match, Gauff - who just turned 20 in March - admitted that she would like to find a winning formula against Swiatek and stop the Pole's dominance in their meetings. 

“I can't sit here and say it's something I'm not going to want to turn around. I have to be positive and believe in myself. Today I felt very confident going into the match. I know that there are things that I can improve to make this a closer scoreline," Gauff said. 

“Like, first-serve percentage was pretty low, I think. From Rome to this week I improved a lot on my serve. Even though it's not where I want it to be, but going from, like, 15 double faults to maybe three or four today, I don't know, it's a big improvement.

“I don't feel like my game is all the way developed yet. I feel like when I reach my peak, then I can maybe answer the question, but I don't think I'm there yet.”

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek
Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Since Gauff is the new world No. 2, she will enter Wimbledon as the second seed so meeting Swiatek could possibly only come in the final.

Coco Gauff Iga Swiatek Wimbledon