Coco Gauff shows off new serve during first round demolition at the Australian Open

TOPSHOT - USA's Coco Gauff serves against Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova during their women's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 15, 2024. (Photo by David GRAY / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Coco Gauff credits her new serve in part to former US tennis star Andy Roddick.

Coco Gauff showcased a devastating new serve as she sealed an impressive straight sets – 6-3 6-0 – victory against Anna Karolína Schmiedlová at the Australian Open on Monday.

The world No. 4 had traveled in the offseason to train with former tennis star Andy Roddick, who is widely considered one of the greatest servers in history.

Gauff credits Roddick with helping her tweak her technique, which now involves starting her ball toss higher before serving.

It worked with devastating effect in the first round demolition of Schmiedlova, with Gauff recording 123 mph for her fastest serve. The 19-year-old also won 100% of points off her first serve in the second set.

“I don’t think I could have gotten anybody else better to help me,” Gauff told reporters after her win, speaking about Roddick’s influence.

“I think that my serve has improved. I think I just need to continue to trust it and trust all the work that I did in the offseason. I want to become a more aggressive server.”

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 15: Coco Gauff of the United States of America in action during Round 1 of the 2024 Australian Open on January 15 2024, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

After a nervous start, Gauff asserted her dominance to win in straight sets.

Gauff is playing at Melbourne Park off the back of winning her maiden grand slam title at the US Open last year.

The teenager, though, says she’s not feeling any different and just wants to enjoy the first major of the new season.

‘I feel good, I look good’

It took a while for the youngster to settle into the match inside the Rod Laver Arena but, after settling her nerves, she eventually found her rhythm.

The second set was a demolition, with Schmiedlová able to win just five points throughout the entire set.

“I just told myself, ‘I feel good, I look good, so just have fun,’” Gauff told reporters after the match.

“That was able to relax me a little bit. That’s why I play tennis, to have fun, so I remind myself.”

She added: “I was able to just calm down and then play good, not my best, but good tennis from that point. I was just playing much deeper and much freer.”

Before this year’s Australian Open, Gauff said she was not content with just the one major title to her name, revealing she hoped to win at least 10 grand slams during her career.

The American is certainly one of the top contenders for the year’s title at Melbourne Park, but must first beat compatriot Caroline Dolehide in the second round on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, reigning Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová suffered a shock first round defeat to Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.

The qualifier beat Vondroušová, who has been struggling with an injury this year, in straight sets – 6-1 6-1 – in under an hour.

Fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina also breezed through to the second round after beating Australian wildcard Taylah Preston in straight sets – 6-2 6-2 – while Ons Jabeur beat Ukraine’s Yuliia Starodubtseva in her first match of 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *