Gauff Has A Swiatek Problem After Losing 10th Match In Head-To-Head

Gauff Has A Swiatek Problem After Losing 10th Match In Head-To-Head

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff played Iga Swiatek in their 11th career meeting in Rome, and she did not come remotely close to solving the puzzle.

For the 10th time, the outcome was the same, as Swiatek blitzed past the 20-year-old US Open champion to reach the Italian Open final in probably one of the fewest competitive matches in their series.

And Gauff asserted this point after the match. She believes the 4-6, 3-6 scoreline was misleading. There is some truth to that claim because she came out racing from the get-go, breaking Swiatek to take a 2-0 lead in the first set. She also held a breakback point deep in the second set at 3-5 down.

However, the concerning statistic after the match was that this was Swiatek's 10th win in 11 meetings, and Gauff did not win a single set in all those defeats.

Additionally, Gauff is not just losing early doors to the World No. 1. These are high-stakes matches they have played in their young careers. Excluding the WTA Finals, they've only faced off once before the quarterfinal stage (2022 Miami Open).

While the general consensus is that this rivalry is expected to continue for many years, Swiatek has developed into a real kryptonite for Gauff in the matchup, creating some sort of mental barrier.

The American's tone after the match suggested that was the case, with Gauff admitting that she would have beaten any other player at the Italian Open. Her mind gets a little foggy when facing the four-time Grand Slam champion, which overrides her tactical acumen.

It's a major problem for Gauff and her coaching entourage because she's been dreaming of becoming World No. 1, but her wretched record against the woman who currently occupies that position indicates it will not happen sooner. Will she turn it around? Only time will tell.


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