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Days After Coco Gauff’s Astounding Announcement, ‘Mental’ Fear Looms Large as Persistent Weakness Comes to the Fore Once Again – ‘Going to Be Difficult..’

Published 07/30/2023, 12:38 PM EDT

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American WTA sensation Coco Gauff made a fairytale entry into the world of tennis by virtue of a perfect breakthrough season in 2019. Gauff announced herself on the tour with a sensational victory against the legendary Venus Williams in the first round of the Wimbledon championships in 2019 as a 15-year-old. However, as 4 years have passed, she couldn’t reach the heights she was tipped to achieve when she burst onto the scene. But what can be the reason behind this? 

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Many experts attribute this underachievement to a flaw in Gauff’s game – her forehand. In a recent interview, former world number 5 Jimmy Arias revealed why he thinks the issue with Coco Gauff’s forehand is more challenging than it is thought to be.

Jimmy Arias believes the forehand issue is more of a mental challenge for Coco Gauff


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Every professional player has to deal with some issues or the other with their game. For 19-year-old WTA star Coco Gauff, the one persistent issue that seems to be troubling her game is her forehand.

In a recent interview with Yardbarker, former American tennis player Jimmy Arias analyzed the faults in the technique of Gauff’s forehand. “You need to hit your forehand with your rotation, big muscles, and your arms, and chest connected. Your arm should be out of it, it’s relaxed, it’s loose and your rotation is going to hit the ball and you just learn where the racket face is and get a racket head speed. She’s all arm”, he weighed in.


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Arias further claimed that more than anything else, this has now become a psychological issue for Coco Gauff. “It’s going to be difficult because now it’s mental too. She hears about it all the time. So there is a combination of things that makes it more difficult”, he explained.

via Reuters

Gauff has been trying to overcome the struggles with her forehand for some time now. It is to be noted that she shockingly announced Spaniard Pere Riba as her new coach prior to Wimbledon in an attempt to find a new approach to her game.


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Gauff’s unexpected Pere Riba announcement snubbing Serena Williams’ former coach

There were rumors that Serena Williams‘ former coach Rick Macci would be the next in line to join forces with Coco Gauff as her new coach. However, the teenager decided to team up with 35-year-old Spanish veteran Pere Riba during a Wimbledon warm-up tournament in a move that naturally grabbed a lot of attention, given that a lot of people expected a Gauff-Macci partnership. Gauff hailed Riba for having a ‘great personality’ and shared her plans of working with him at least till the US Open this year.

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USA Today via Reuters

Pere Riba will work extensively on the forehand of Coco Gauff and hope to improve her overall game heading into the final slam of the year. Do you think Coco Gauff will be able to bounce back and transform her forehand under the guidance of Pere Riba? Let us know in the comments.


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Prithviraj Roy

193 articles

Prithviraj Roy is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. With an academic background in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), he has more than 2 years of experience as a Content Writer. Prithviraj has been a die-hard fan of the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal since his childhood years.

Edited By: Arijit Saha