Coco Gauff Australian Open 2022

‘She must start playing tennis’ – Slam champion frank following Coco Gauff Australian Open exit

After teen talent Coco Gauff lost to world number 110 Qiang Wang at the Australian Open, Mats Wilander asserted that she has to develop her decision making on court in order to continue her rise in the sport. 

According to Wilander, Gauff already has the physical capabilities to stay a top talent on the WTA tour.

However, the three-time Australian Open champion believes that 17-year-old is lacking tactically.

“First of all, Wang played an unbelievable match, she was very solid today,” Wilander said on Eurosport.

“I think for Coco Gauff it’s time to start playing tennis, meaning that she is so physically quick, she is so physically strong, being so young she is extremely mature on the court.

“But tactically she hits shots that make you think why would you go there? Why do you do that? So, I think it’s time for her to learn how to tactically be a better player.

“Hopefully she can learn because some players never learn how to play smart tennis, they just play physical tennis.”

Gauff came into the Australian Open as the 18th seed and off the back of a 4-2 record across her first two events in Adelaide.

Not only that, but she only lost to the eventual champion at both tournaments, being Ashleigh Barty and compatriot Madison Keys respectively.

Despite this, Wang overwhelmed Gauff 6-4, 6-2 on the opening day of the Melbourne Slam.

While Gauff has barely begun her career with two more season left as a teenager, Wilander emphasised there is already pressure on the young American.

“For her to be a future Grand Slam champion, the pressure is starting to build, but she still has many, many years before she is going to get to her best.

“But, she has to learn now to figure out her opponent and all the things she needs to do to make her opponent worse. You can’t always be perfect.”

Watch the Australian Open exclusively live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app.

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