Coco Gauff’s coach, Diego Moyano, on how having a teenage daughter helps him relate to rising star

Coco Gauff of United States during Quarterfinal match against Veronika Kudermetova of Russia at the WTA Qatar TotalEnergies Open tennis tournament at...

“My daughter helps me to understand Coco, they both have a lot of things similar – the way that they deal with the social media… to be the best player you can be, need to be a well-rounded person and have knowledge of what surrounds you,” the 47-year-old recently said. Gauff, who turns 19 next month, has certainly benefited from their partnership. Long may it continue?

Gauff gunning for more progress, rightly so

Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula of United States pose with their trophy after winning the doubles final match against Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and...
Jessica Pegula (left) and Gauff celebrate after clinching the doubles final in Qatar over this weekend

Auckland Open champion Coco Gauff isn’t satisfied by her big tournament attainment to date and given her limitless potential, there’s no reason she should be.

The four Majors
Australian Open: R4, 2020 and 2023
French Open: 2022 runner-up
Wimbledon: R4 in 2019, 2021
US Open: quarterfinalist in 2022

WTA 1000 tournaments
Dubai: QF in 2021, 2022
Indian Wells: R3 in 2021, 2022
Miami: R4 in 2022
Madrid: R3 in 2022
Italy: SF in 2021
Canada: QF in 2021, 2022
Cincinnati: R2

Still 18 for three full weeks starting tomorrow, she made sure to pay tribute to her family, friends and coaches that helped her end a WTA singles title drought lasting 20 months in early January.

She fell short vs. Jelena Ostapenko in the Australian Open last-16, before her return on tour was halted in a three-set defeat by the savvy Veronika Kudermetova 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday.

Even still, Doha has represented another successful tournament for the American youngster – having clinched doubles silverware with compatriot and close friend Jessica Pegula.

Pegula, who moves back to a career-high world no. 3 after her own progression this week, earned wins over the aforementioned Ostapenko, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Maria Sakkari but fell short in a one-sided final earlier today – losing in 70 minutes (6-3, 6-0) against Iga Swiatek.

While she’ll be inspired by Pegula’s success, Gauff knows there is plenty for her to work on before reaching the next level herself: from addressing serving consistency, enduring and outfoxing opponents during lengthy rallies, modifying her forehand groundstroke, plus more besides.

Moyano, a former world no. 130 player himself, believes the change in dynamic from his playing days to new expectations – coupled with having a teenage daughter – have helped him bridge the gap, better able to understand the nuances of what makes younger players like Coco tick.

On the ATP Radio podcast, he was quoted as saying:

“Back when I was coaching in 1997 and ’98 before all this social media started, coaching then, was helping me to be a better father because they were young and it was helping me to understand my kids.”

Gauff represents Moyano’s first full-time female playing client, having previously overseen coaching roles with the now-retired Kevin Anderson, Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul.

“I just kind of started to work with Coco and it was kind of a great challenge, I think, a great project for me and she wanted to work with me, it kind of fit well and I decided to work with WTA and Coco, here we are. It is fascinating to see the difference and it also goes back on the preparations, communication is totally different.

What’s next?

Coco Gauff of USA is congratulated by Rebeka Masarova of Spain after winning the women's singles final match against during day seven of the 2023 ASB...
Gauff and Masarova had nice words to say about one another after their finale last month

As one of the top eight seeds at this year’s Dubai championships, Gauff has received a bye into the second-round – where she’ll play either hard-hitting talent Aliaksandra Sasnovich or a rematch of her Auckland Open final against Spanish qualifier Rebeka Masarova on Tuesday.

Sasnovich has struggled to start the season with a 2-5 win-loss singles record, which includes defeats across three separate qualifying tournaments. Will it be any different this week, against an active player who is enjoying her tennis and earning victories across different competitions?

Picture source: Getty Images


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