Vulnerable Coco Gauff Turns Gloomy Over BFF Jessica Pegula’s Absence Following Australian Open Heartbreak

Published 01/25/2024, 10:14 AM EST

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Despite a promising journey, the end wasn’t how Coco Gauff would’ve liked. Earlier today, she bowed out of the 2024 Australian Open, losing against the second seed, Aryna Sabalenka. The American sensation gave her all but couldn’t overcome the challenge of the Belarusian. Following her defeat, Gauff opened up about not playing doubles with her compatriot, Jessica Pegula, at the ongoing Australian Open.

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Gauff and Pegula were the top seeds in the women’s doubles draw at the Grand Slam Down Under. However, hours before their first-round clash, the pair withdrew from the tournament. Here’s what Gauff had to say about their absence.

Coco Gauff makes a candid revelation about not playing doubles

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Although the American pair registered their entry for doubles, they had to withdraw from the tournament at the last minute. Gauff’s partner, Pegula, wasn’t feeling at her 100% best and decided to pull out from the competition. It put a major blow to the American hopes in that event as they were firm favorites to clinch the title.

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Further, Gauff was asked about her thoughts on not playing doubles with Pegula at the ongoing event and if she missed it. Replying to this question, Gauff said, “I mean, yeah, a little bit. No, I feel like in the future doubles won’t always be a thing at slams, like, every slam. I don’t want to completely shut it out, but yeah, it was a little different.”

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She also went on to add, “I mean, Jess wasn’t feeling that great, but it was a weird dynamic, for sure, not playing one match. I remember, like, my first round, I think I just wanted to work on returns and then when we didn’t play doubles. I was like, well, I guess I have to go to the practice. It was weird just having so much time on the off days.”

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With the Paris Olympics coming up later this year, the current situation of Pegula can turn out to be a major blow to the pair’s hopes of winning a medal there. Moreover, Pegula has always enjoyed playing doubles. She even revealed how it went on to help improve her game.

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Jessica Pegula on playing doubles alongside singles commitments

Although it can get hectic playing in both events consistently, Pegula doesn’t see that as a problem. Her passion for the sport drives her to play in both singles as well as doubles. Interestingly, this helps her a lot too.

Talking about it, she said, “I love playing doubles. I think it’s helped me a lot in my game, working on a lot of intangibles, playing pressure points, a lot of serve return practice, working on your feel around the court, your lobs, strategizing, reading what the opponents are doing or the other team is doing.”

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While Coco Gauff will look to overcome her Australian Open heartbreak, the duo will pair up in the upcoming WTA tournaments. Do you see them as contenders at the Paris Olympics? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Written by:

Vatsal Shah

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One take at a time

Being a die-hard fan of tennis and an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal, tennis has been a part of my life even before I ventured into sports journalism. If I have learned anything from the incredible career of the ?King of Clay?, it is to constantly enhance your skill sets, no matter at what stage you are in your career. This motivated me to complete an Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Management while pursuing my career as a sports writer.
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Edited by:

Shudh Mukherjee

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