The 19-year-old began her 2024 season in New Zealand at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She's very familiar with the ATP 250 event, having played there last year. She didn't just play there; she won the event, and she was able to do the same this year as well.
The final against Elina Svitolina wasn't straightforward, but it was a good way to start the year. Her good level showed up at the Australian Open as well, but she couldn't get past Aryna Sabalenka, who avenged the US Open loss to the American.
It was an unfortunate loss for Gauff because she had some chances in that match, but losing to the eventual champion isn't so bad. Rick Macci, Serena Williams' former coach, said it was a good outing. He looked back on the event for NBC News, praising Gauff and predicting a really good year for her.
"She's not going anywhere, we talked about this before. She's a teenager, one of the best backhands on the tour. But I actually like her backbone better than her backhand. I love her motto, 'No days off'. Coco's only gonna get better. And what I really love, is she has the mindset of Roger Federer."
It's a really interesting comparison by Macci because people generally use Serena Williams as her comparison. They are similar in that both are super talented and among the best of their generation, but they play quite a bit differently.
Gauff is only now embracing that attacking playstyle that Roger Federer also had. It's worked well, as she won the US Open last year. Now, it's about backing it up with some more titles.