Tennis Prose



Is Coco Gauff Stagnating At 17?

She burst on the WTA scene like a stick of dynamite, blasting through veterans on the biggest courts in the world in Grand Slam events at just 15. The dynamic, colorful, charismatic teenager signed major endorsement deals with Nike, New Balance, Barilla, Head racquets, etc.

Now less than a month from turning eighteen, Gauff has seen her phenomenal ascent stagnate. Since the US Open last year where she lost 64 62 in the second round to Sloane Stephens, Gauff has a mediocre 5-5 match record.

2022 has been a bad year for Gauff so far. Though she made semis at Adelaide (losing to Keys in three sets) she lost in the first round of the Austalian Open to Qiang Wang 64 62. Wang, ranked outside the top 100, was a player she had never lost a set to before in two previous meetings.

This week in Dubai, Gauff lost first round to world no. 14 Jess Pegula 64 64.

Suddenly there are whispers of concern about the future of the can’t-miss American successor to the Williams sisters.

The American tennis media and ESPN promoted and branded her as a superstar, before the superstar results were achieved. The American idol success story was already written before it actually happened.

Now it’s trying to happen but an element of the process is missing, whether it’s the right coach or the lack of patience, nobody knows for sure.

Gauff needs a change or a spark to refresh her energy and enthusiasm before the burnout phase creeps in.

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