Coco Gauff makes French Open coach plan after being linked with Williams mentor

Coco Gauff has given an update on her coaching situation after being linked with Serena Williams’ first mentor. The 19-year-old parted ways with Diego Moyano following the Miami Open and was later said to be exploring working with Rick Macci. But Gauff has another one of Williams’ ex-coaches in her box for Roland Garros, where she reached the final 12 months ago.

Gauff is gearing up to defend her career-best showing at a Grand Slam after reaching the final of the French Open last year, where she lost to Iga Swiatek. The American star now has 1,300 ranking points on the line and is looking to go one better by winning her first Major title in Paris.

And she will be doing so under the guidance of Patrick Mouratoglou, as the former coach of Serena Williams will be in the world No 6’s camp over the next fortnight. Gauff is still yet to hire a full-time mentor after splitting with Moyano earlier this year but has turned to the Frenchman for some temporary guidance.

“We started after Madrid, and it was just through the clay season he’s helping me out,” the teenager said ahead of the second Major of the season. Gauff has been training at the Mouratoglou Academy in Nice since she was a child and admitted that she was yet to find a permanent coach.

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She continued: “I’m going in between coaches, to be honest. I haven’t really found a full-time coach, I guess.” Referencing ATP star Holger Rune, she explained why she decided to return to her childhood mentor for the clay swing.

“Obviously he’s still with Holger. But I have a great relationship with Patrick. I have known him since I was 10 years old and obviously been on the court with him before. I thought he would be a perfect person to help me during this time,” she added. “Yeah, I’m looking forward to the next two weeks with him.”

The 19-year-old didn’t address rumours that her father had reached out to Rick Macci, the man who brought Serena and Venus Williams to Florida as young teenagers to help kick-start their tennis careers. After Gauff split with her coach, John McEnroe revealed that Macci had been contacted by team Gauff.

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“According to him, he’s been in touch with Coco’s father about possibly spending some time to obviously try to fix that forehand,” McEnroe said on the Holding Court podcast. “Because we all know the forehand swing and the technique on the forehead is very shaky.

“And Rick said to me, if he could spend a solid amount of time with her, he thinks she can win multiple multiple majors because right now it’s not solid enough off the forehead that he believes she can do it at the moment.”

And Gauff herself has addressed her forehand ahead of the French Open, claiming that it was one of her weapons on the clay despite needing some work. “I mean, obviously the forehand is something that I have to improve on, but on clay especially I feel like it’s one of my weapons,” she said. “Last year, I mean, I have won a lot of points using that heavy forehand, and I think that that’s something I continue to do this year.”

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