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Italian Open: Coco Gauff Reveals How Serena Williams’ Learnings Inspired Her to Fix an Important Aspect of Her Game

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Italian Open: Coco Gauff Reveals How Serena Williams' Learnings Inspired Her to Fix an Important Aspect of Her Game

 

Coco Gauff entered into a surprising slump as the clay swing began.

 

In Stuttgart, she lost in her second appearance with a round of 16 exit in the Madrid Open. The American player needed to work on her game, and she did, taking inspiration from her idol. Gauff copied a particular part of Serena Williams’ training routine, which helped her enter the quarterfinal in the Italian Open. Gauff beat Paula Badosa, who recently started improving, in the 16, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 round. While there are still some signs of trouble in her game, she has vastly improved her return on serves, as she converted 50% of receiving points against Badosa. In the post-match presser, she talked about how she improved her returns. “I think for me, it was just realizing that not everything needs to be a return winner. Also I did shorten my swings on the returns. I think just reps, honestly. That helps a lot, too.”
Coco Gauff, of the United States, celebrates after winning a point against Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)[/caption] Due to the Queen of the Court, returning became a prominent aspect of her routine. “Yeah, I think it came with just reps. I would spend a lot of time returning. One thing I learned from Serena, she would spend probably like an hour sometimes literally just hitting returns.” Furthermore, she changed from where she returned her service. “Also I kind of adjust where I stand sometimes . Sometimes I stand inside, sometimes I stand back. Depends on the server. Usually obviously bigger servers, you stand back.” Williams inspired Gauff to improve, as she has many times. The Queen of the Court has inspired many athletes around the world, with her magic working on Gauff when she was a child.

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