2019 Wimbledon Rewind: Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff defeated Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of Wimbledon last year. Talk about causing a buzz on Centre Court! I reviewed the match on the Wimbledon Channel, including Coco’s serve and forehand technique, and a little background on the first time I saw Coco play at the 2018 US Open.
What was memorable about that New York match? At 14 years of age, playing in the junior’s draw, she dropped a 120mph first serve. 😳🎾💨
What was memorable about her average 2nd serve speed at Wimbledon on Day 1 of The Championships? It was the same as Novak Djokovic – at 99mph – who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the first match of the tournament. Now, that’s salty!
Below is my Wimbledon Channel segment on Coco, followed by the tweet I put out from New York. Enjoy!
2019 Wimbledon Channel: Coco Gauff Review
2018 US Open Tweet
Wimbledon Channel: Video Take-Aways
I first saw Coco play in juniors at the 2018 US Open where she was the No. 1 seed. She was playing on Court 17 and I saw her hit a 120mph first serve. The twitter post is above. She was 14 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day old. What’s amazing is that 120mph serve was exactly the same as the fastest serve in the women’s draw.
For the record, Coco was the youngest US Open junior girls finalist in history at age 13 and the second youngest French Open junior girls champion at age 14.
Slice Serves: Deuce Ct Wide & Ad Ct Middle
Coco’s favorite locations vs. Venus was wide in the Deuce Ct and down the T in the Ad court. Here Deuce Ct slider, in particular, was so lethal because of the mix of power and slice. Too often in today’s game, it’s all about the power, and the slice serve has taken a back seat. This is a great blend of the two strengths.
Average Serve Speeds
- Coco = 107mph
- Venus = 107mph
- Coco = 99mph
- Venus = 86mph
- Novak Djokovic = 99mph (vs. P. Kohlschreiber 2019 Wimbledon Rd 1).
Coco has a cannon of a second serve. She averaged hitting it at the same speed (99mph) as Novak Djokovic did in his Rd 1 match.
Coco likes to create an angle with her wrist to start her serve, much the same was as Goran Ivanisevic used to. Goran did it because the wooden rackets he started playing with were so heavy. The technique works a treat for both players!
Coco does a good job of setting her forehand at the start of the swing with her left hand. That naturally initiates the hip and shoulder turn automatically. Focus on correctly using your left hand and you will build more energy at the start of the swing.
Serve +1 Forehand Back Behind
Hitting towards the open court is not always the right option. Going behind makes the opponent have to stop and turn around where they just came from – and then get their hands and feet organized for the next shot. Hitting behind forces a lot of errors!
The racket swing path is rounded. Get above the ball then below the ball then accelerate up through it. But is it okay to come back down in the follow-through & finish near your knees? Does it help? As I explained in the video, there is nothing wrong with “covering” the ball for spin and this forehand finish from Coco Gauff works just fine!
All the best,