“I'm really relaxed going into this year,” Coco Gauff reflects on last year’s Wimbledon upset

Sunday, 30 June 2024 at 02:00
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Coco Gauff reflected on her shocking first-round defeat at the 2023 Wimbledon and admitted she doesn't feel pressured this year as she prepares to debut against fellow American Caroline Dolehide.
A year ago, Gauff entered SW19 as the 7th seed with high expectations for her performance in the tournament. However, she only played one match, losing in the debut to former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin: "I wish a year ago, me after that match could see me now,” Gauff reflected.

Gauff reflects on 2023 Wimbledon shock

Back in 2023, Gauff seemed a clear favorite against her Billie Jean King Cup teammate Sofia Kenin, who entered the tournament as world No. 128 and had no main draw wins at Wimbledon. Kenin took the victory 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, creating one of the tournament's early shocks.
The tough loss gave Gauff perspective on her career and helped her step up on the WTA Tour from that point on. After Wimbledon, the American became the player in the best form during the US hardcourt swing, winning titles at the WTA 500 Washington Open, WTA 1000 Cincinnati Open, and her first Grand Slam at the US Open.
Gauff won 24 of the next 28 matches she played that season, with losses only to Iga Swiatek (2) and Jessica Pegula (2). She finished the season as world No. 3, gaining new status on the Tour at just 20 years old: "It was tough for me to realize I have so much time. When that happens you just feel the weight of everything on you. I think I had high expectations at that age. I still do,” the world No. 2 said.
Coco Gauff at 2023 Wimbledon
Coco Gauff at 2023 Wimbledon
"With Wimbledon, I'm really relaxed going into this year. I didn't have a great Wimbledon last year. It's like it couldn't get any worse, it can only get better or the same.”
Moreover, the American is the second seed of the tournament, ensuring she avoids Iga Swiatek until a potential final. The Polish world No. 1 dominates their head-to-head 11-1, although Coco commented that it doesn't matter much if Swiatek is on the other side of the draw: "It gives you confidence obviously when you see that the field isn't stacked... in the way where there's one player dominating or three players dominating," she said. "I think everybody has an equal shot and it's just about who can perform better that week."

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