Coco’s preparation for the French Open is going rather well we think. She defeated fellow American Amanda Anisimova in straight sets in the final warm up tournament in Parma, Italy on Thursday. Coco has served well throughout the clay court season thus far, as a result she won 71% of her points on first serve. Gauff’s Achilles Heel is that she has to trail in games to come up with the big shots.
In her opening two service games she was down 40-15, losing serve in one of them to go 2-1 down. She quickly got level in the following game, very brave drop shot at 2-1(15-30) to set up the break points. Amanda’s is especially strong from the baseline, watching her shots in the opening three games one can tell she practices a lot on clay. Watch 2-2(30-40 to Amanda). The placement on the looping forehand is sublime. Another player would have put it wide, a picture of concentration right there. The back and forth set eventually went Coco’s way, turning point being the eight game. I hope Coco and her coach know she is very lethal from the net and should visit it more. Watch the opening game 4-3. Coco’s break of serve in that game was the difference and she wrapped up the set 6-3.
Clay can be brutal if you don’t play according to its rules. Amanda after a solid back to basics start faltered after going 3-0 up to lose the set and the match 6-3. As opposed to grass for example, clay court tennis calls for a good serve initially(it doesn’t have to be an ace but placed well) to set you up to go on the offensive at the start of the rallies. Watch 3-1 to Amanda(down break points 15-40). Coco is getting better and better as the year goes half way. Women’s tennis is crying out for a new star.