“Right Now She’s Kind Of Lost” | Patrick McEnroe Speaks On Coco Gauff And He’s Right

Former professional tennis player and current analyst Patrick McEnroe offered a succinct critique of American tennis star Coco Gauff. The critique is accurate and the 19-year-old phenom is at a crossroads in her early career.

Gauff, the sixth-ranked player in the world, lost 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the French Open on Wednesday to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek. It was a rematch of last year’s French final. Gauff won four games total in last year’s final, so the six games in the loss was an improvement but it’s not where she hoped to be.

A big reason for that is the lack of confidence in her forehand.

Gauff Doesn’t Have A Permanent Coach

“Right now, she’s kinda lost between what she wants to do. She doesn’t feel like she can really go for the shots consistently, cause she makes too many mistakes,” McEnroe said. “And then, when she does spin it, it’s a decent ball, but against a quality player, it’s just not enough. And Swiatek’s just too solid and moves too well. She’s never had trouble with Coco.”

Gauff also headed into the year’s second major without a full time coach. She and Diego Moyano split earlier this year as the Argentinian national had personal matters he needed to attend to and couldn’t devote the time that a top touring pro like Gauff needs.

“It wasn’t really my decision,” Gauff said when asked about the split in April. “He was having some personal things going on, so he had to step down. So I would say it was something that I think both of us didn’t want to happen, because we did have such a good time together. But I understand that, and I wish him nothing but the best. I know that he’s always a person that if I need to call I’ll pick up the phone, and I had a great year with him.”

They had an excellent year in 2022 seeing Gauff reach her first major final (2022 French Open), and breaking into the top five.

While it’s nice that Gauff can call Moyano whenever she wants, she needs more if she is to realize her full potential on tour.

Can Serena Williams’ Former Coach Show Gauff The Way?

Prior to the French, Patrick Mouratoglou agreed to help Gauff on a temporary basis. But the former coach of Serena Williams couldn’t take her on full-time yet as he was working with Holger Rune and the currently suspended Simona Halep.

Gauff is at the point in her career where she should be advancing to the second week of majors and WTA mandatory events consistently. The QF and SF round should be expected, and when she’s clicking she should be competing with Swiatek and Sabalenka.

“Coco, because of this shakiness on her forehand wing, she kinda went to this play where she was just being super consistent, playing with a lot of spin,” McEnroe continued. “It was good enough to get to the quarters and it was good enough to stay in the match for a while in the first set. But she had no real ability to hit big on the forehand. And Swiatek, she can hurt you off both wings.”

But, as McEnroe said, without a big weapon that she can rely on consistently to bother the top players, she’ll likely continue to come up just short. That’s just a matter of consistent work and honing her tactics. She needs a full-time coach to help her with that.

She’s only 19 and is already one of the best players in the world. But to compete and win Grand Slams is another level up. As we move to the grass court and summer hardcourt season it will be interesting to see if Gauff picks up a permanent coach ahead of Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.

Back to top