Gauff Only Player Who Can 'Win With Her B-Game' According To Former World No. 5 Arias

Gauff Only Player Who Can 'Win With Her B-Game' According To Former World No. 5 Arias

by Zachary Wimer

Former player Jimmy Arias has picked Coco Gauff as the 2024 Australian Open favorite, believing she can win with her B-game.

The general consensus heading into this Australian Open is that Iga Swiatek is the number one favorite. After all, she had her best-ever start to a year, so it's pretty hard to disagree with that.

She made the semi-final in Melbourne two years ago, so it's not like the courts or the conditions don't suit her game. For former world number 5 Jimmy Arias, the favorite is actually Coco Gauff.

He was choosing between Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka, settling on the American as he thought she could win the event with her B-game. He doesn't think that's on the table for Sabalenka.

"No, I can't go with [Aryna] Sabalenka. It's hard enough to win a Major, it's harder seemingly to defend... so we'll see. I gotta go with Coco Gauff because of how well she ended last year and she has started the year this year."

The reasoning for Arias is pretty simple. As he explained to Monica Puig in the Tennis Channel Live Podcast, he simply thinks that athleticism is a good fallback option when her tennis is not clicking properly.

Many players don't have luxury, but as the US Open final showed, she can always grind down the opponents even when she's not playing that well.

"And the one thing Coco has over everybody else is she can be not playing great and still — because she's so athletic — make balls, make you beat her. She's the only one who can sort of win it with her B-game."

However, players like Swiatek have shown the ability to break down Gauff consistently, and no athleticism helped there. Finding a way to win in those circumstances would be the next step.


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