Coco Gauff Wimbledon 2022

Coco Gauff forehand too ‘dodgy’ to make Serena Williams comparison, says coach

Coco Gauff has been told she is not going to emulate Serena Williams despite being ‘an Olympic sprinter with a racket in her hand.’

That is the view of Williams’ former coach Rick Macci, who was speaking on the Match Point Canada podcast this week.

Gauff has been tipped for greatness ever since breaking through at Wimbledon as a 15-year-old in 2019. She beat Venus Williams in the first round there, and everyone in tennis has been just waiting for her to win majors ever since.

She delivered on that this year as she won the US Open, which has only served to strengthen the ‘new Serena Williams’ hype. However, despite really rating her, Serena’s own former coach does not believe Gauff is quite in the same class.

“Coco, the best female athlete on the tour. She’s an Olympic sprinter with a racket in her hand,” Macci said. “The forehand’s a little dodgy. I know she kind of covered it up during the summer, but there’s a little bump there.

“When you are confident, as you know, you don’t see it as much. But maybe, when you have the people change the pace, you’re not as confident. So, she’s not Serena, but she can win some Grand Slams.”

Coco Gauff’s amazing breakthrough summer

The talent of Coco Gauff was never in question, and in fact many thought her reaching the final of Roland Garros in 2022 would be her big breakthrough at the top of the WTA.

It didn’t quite happen like that, and she had to wait more than a year to really hit her stride. That happened in the US hardcourt swing this year, shortly after linking up with Andre Agassi’s former coach Brad Gilbert.

She won a WTA 500, a first WTA 1000 and a first Grand Slam title, all in the space of a few weeks.

“Thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said after winning in New York. “A month ago, I won a [WTA] 500 title, people were saying I would stop at that. Two weeks ago I won a Masters title, and people said that was as big as it was going to get.

“Three weeks later I’m here with this (US Open) trophy now. To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, they were adding gas to it. Now I’m burning so bright now.”

Serena Williams is a hard act to follow and a vert hard name to live up to, but there is no question that Gauff is now among the elite of the WTA and whether she can continue that into 2024 will be one of the most fascinating subplots of the season.

Coco Gauff and her American hardcourt summer

Washington D.C. (WTA 500)

First Round – Received a bye

Second Round – Beat Hailey Baptiste (Q), 6-1 6-4

Quarter-final – Beat Belinda Bencic (6), 6-1 6-2

Semi-final – Beat Liudmila Samsonova (8), 6-3 6-3

Final – Beat Maria Sakkari (4), 6-2 6-3

Montreal (WTA 1000)

First Round – Received a bye

Second Round – Beat Katie Boulter (Q), 6-2 6-2

Third Round – Beat Marketa Vondrousova (9), 6-3 6-0

Quarter-final – Lost to Jessica Pegula (4), 2-6 7-5 5-7

Cincinnati (WTA 1000)

First Round – Received a bye

Second Round – Beat Mayar Sherif, 6-2 6-2

Third Round – Beat Linda Noskova, 6-4 6-0

Quarter-final – Beat Jasmine Paolini, 6-3 6-2

Semi-final – Beat Iga Swiatek (1), 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4

Final – Beat Karolina Muchova, 6-3 6-4

US Open

First Round – Beat Laura Siegemund (Q), 3-6 6-2 6-4

Second Round – Beat Mirra Andreeva, 6-3 6-2

Third Round – Beat Elise Mertens (32), 3-6 6-3 6-0

Fourth Round – Beat Caroline Wozniacki (WC), 6-3 3-6 6-1

Quarter-final – Beat Jelena Ostapenko (20), 6-0 6-2

Semi-final – Beat Karolina Muchova (10), 6-4 7-5

Final – Beat Aryna Sabalenka (2), 2-6 6-3 6-2

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.