Gauff Delighted With 'Mental Fight' Displayed In Auckland Comeback Win

Gauff Delighted With 'Mental Fight' Displayed In Auckland Comeback Win

by Alex Waite

Coco Gauff explained how her psychological approach to going behind against Elina Svitolina in the ASB Classic final will help to improve confidence heading into the 2024 Australian Open.

Gauff lost in a tie-break of the first set against Svitolina before roaring back to defeat the Ukranian 6-3, 6-3 in the following two sets. The win meant last season's US Open champion successfully defended her ASB Classic title after she also won in Auckland in 2023.

Before the final, Gauff didn't drop a set in her previous four matches en route to the ASB Classic final. But, when reflecting on her victory over Svitolina, the 19-year-old believes she will benefit from having to overcome the demands of falling behind in a match, which provides a different experience.

"It gives me a lot of confidence, especially sometimes when you’re playing a tournament and some of the matches are going pretty easily for the score line. It was cool to see how I was able to react under pressure, especially after losing the first set when I was up."

“So I’m happy with the mental fight I showed today. There are things I can improve on but overall I’m happy with the level I played this week, playing five matches."

Gauff will be hoping to build on her first title of 2024 at the Australian Open, which begins on January 14. Despite winning at the ASB Classic on Sunday, the US player has dropped to fourth in the WTA rankings and will be eager to get back to the number one spot.

The 19-year-old won her first career Grand Slam at the 2023 US Open following a stellar end to the season, which also included victories at the Washington Open and Cincinnati Open.

However, Gauff has never progressed further than the fourth round at the Australian Open and she will certainly be looking to improve on this particular record in Melbourne.


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