'From Low Only Way Up': Gauff's Mindset in Rome After Madrid Disappointment

'From Low Only Way Up': Gauff's Mindset in Rome After Madrid Disappointment

by Kadir Macar

Coco Gauff looks to bounce back from the recent slump in form and the 2023 Italian Open in Rome presents a great chance to do that.

A very good mindset seems to be something that Gauff possesses at the moment, as she pivots to the Italian clay courts of the WTA 1000 in Rome, signaling a much-anticipated comeback. As the sixth seed, Gauff had a bye in the first round of the Italian Open and she lost only one game on her way to the third round.

Post-match, Gauff reflected on her recent experiences, providing a glimpse into the mindset that continues to propel her forward despite not having an ideal form. She certainly showed that she's ready to turn that around in the Italian capital and her words only backed her on-court performance.

"I feel like last week was a little bit of a low for me. I feel like when you are coming from a low, you can only go up. I think the biggest thing for me is once I go up, to keep going even higher."

This philosophy underscores Gauff's refusal to limit her potential, a mindset that not only fuels her ambition but also illuminates her approach to her tennis career.

"I don't think you want to put like a ceiling on yourself. I guess if you go up, you have a ceiling, then it feels like you can't move anywhere. If you go up, don't have any ceiling or anything stopping you, you're constantly going up."

Acknowledging the inevitability of "stagnation" and "down weeks," Gauff's perspective is refreshingly realistic. She is cognizant of the journey's challenges, but remains committed to a trajectory that is "continuously moving in an upward pattern."

"Yeah, this tour week in, week out, you're going to have some stagnation, even down weeks. For the most part I want to make sure I'm continuously moving in an upward pattern."

Reflecting on her performance in Madrid, Gauff admitted that she failed to engage mentally during the second set, acknowledging her stress and lack of enjoyment on the court.

"I feel like I didn't have fun on the court. Even when I was still in the match in the first set, I feel like I was very stressed. I think it showed."

"In the second set, she's obviously a great player, but with my serve and everything, I should be on the scoreboard. I think I mentally wasn't engaged in that second set. I think I let something happen in the first, maybe one or two bad points. I just kind of stayed down."

In the end, Gauff's mindset is focused on the "right decision," whether it leads to winning or losing the point. This perspective reveals a maturity that, combined with her undeniable talent, is certain to ensure her success in the future.

"This week I'm just accepting it for what it is. If I try to win the point or lose the point making the right decision, I think I have to be satisfied with that."


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