Coco Gauff says taking a more selfish approach to tennis helped fuel her French Open success
Coco Gauffadvanced to the first Grand Slamsingles final of her tenniscareer at Roland-Garros.
- The 18-year-old American said that "trying to win for myself" helped her find unprecedented success.
Coco Gauff advanced to a Grand Slam singles final for the first time in her career.
And she credited her unprecedented success at the 2022
After losing in straight sets to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in Saturday's championship match, the 18-year-old American said that a shift in her mentality following several early tournament exits contributed favorably to her run at Roland-Garros.
"At the beginning of this year, I lost at the Australian Open and a couple first rounds," Gauff said in her post-match press conference. "I think I was just going into the matches trying so hard to win — not for myself, but for other people."
"This tournament was the first tournament this year that I went in trying to win for myself," she added. "I think that was the difference in my mentality."
Gauff first burst onto the scene in 2019, when she made an improbable run to the fourth round of Wimbledon at just 15 years old. Since then, she's improved considerably and made herself a mainstay of major tennis tournaments.
Though she made the fourth round of three other majors following that captivating 2019 Wimbledon campaign, Gauff only advanced past that stage on a single occasion — when she moved on to the quarterfinals of the 2021 French Open. One year later in Paris, the new high school graduate became the youngest American Grand Slam finalist since Serena Williams won the US Open in 1999.
Like most pundits, Gauff seems confident that this was the first of many Grand Slam finals she'll play in her tennis career.
"Now that I've found that mental state, I know how to get there," Gauff said. "And I think it'll help me in future tournaments."
Gauff is set to compete at Wimbledon, which begins at the end of June. Should she win it all, she'd be the eighth-youngest woman — and third-youngest American — to earn a Grand Slam title.
"Obviously winning is the last hurdle," Gauff said. "But reaching the final is almost as difficult because you're pretty close."
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