Former three-time Grand Slam finalist Mary Joe Fernandez believes Cori Gauff’s career is trending in the right direction but noted the 18-year-old American still needs to work on her game. Gauff, who will be turning just 19 in March, is already a Grand Slam finalist and has been ranked as high as No 4 in the world.
Gauff has established herself as one of the best players on the WTA Tour and the next step for her is to win a Grand Slam and reach the No 1 spot. “With Coco, I also think she’s a work in progress. She’s 18, there’s a lot still to work on in her game.
But I also think that she’s going in the right direction. The win she had in Auckland was some of the best tennis I’ve seen from her. She’s working really hard on the forehand, she’s working really hard on the serve. I felt that the serve in Australia was way better, very few double faults.
I felt like that’s something she’s corrected and she’s getting the margins, getting the spin,” Fernandez said on the Holding Court with Patrick McEnroe podcast, per Sportskeeda.
Fernandez believes Gauff is ‘a work in progress’
Last week, Gauff said she needs to improve her tactical game and also become a bit more offensive.
“I think just how I approach the game tactically. I think mentally I’m approaching it in a somewhat good way. I wouldn’t say I’m completely a defensive player. I can hit big shots, but I think it’s something I need to do more often.
That’s what I’m working on and doing it at the right moments, as well. Not that I need to be stepping inside the court and being a big hitter, because I feel like I have the physicality to play more of an all-around game. So I think I don’t need to swing for the fences, but also think I need to be more offensive,” Gauff explained.
Gauff started her season with a win in Auckland but then suffered a disappointing Australian Open round-of-16 loss to Jelena Ostapenko. After losing to Ostapenko, Gauff was visibly dejected because she felt it was a great opportunity for her to win her first Grand Slam.