“More Minimal Than I Thought’ - Coco Gauff On Playing First French Open Final - UBITENNIS
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“More Minimal Than I Thought’ – Coco Gauff On Playing First French Open Final

The American has insisted that she was not ‘freaking out’ in the title match.

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Coco Gauff says she believes the key to her Grand Slam breakthrough was down to her mentality as she takes positives in missing out on the French Open title.

The world No.23 only managed to win four games during her comprehensive loss to top seed Iga Swiatek who has now won 35 matches in a row. Gauff is the youngest woman to contest a major final since Maria Sharapova did so at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. Throughout the match she appeared tentative on court and leaked a costly 23 unforced errors. Furthermore, she only managed to win 44% of her service points.

To many it would appear that playing in the biggest final of her career yet took its toll on the American teenager. However, Gauff says the reality of playing in the French Open final wasn’t exactly as she dreamt. Putting full praise on Swiatek’s performance against her.

“I think it was very different. I feel like the moment was definitely more minimal than I thought,” she said.
“In the match, it probably looked like I was freaking out but really it was just Iga was too good. I wasn’t freaking out.’
“I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be.”

Gauff only played one seeded player en route to her showdown against the world No.1. That was in the fourth round when she defeated 31st seed Elise Mertens. She also scored wins over Kaia Kanepi, Sloane Stephens and Maria Trevisan.

“I guess the journey to get here I realized the key to making the final was not something with my game or something that I needed to fix. It was more with my mentality and how I entered the matches,” she continued.
“I think that’s what I think is the difference between me dreaming it and reality. It’s not like some master puzzle that you need to solve. You just kind of have to get your mind in the right place.”

Whilst she has missed out on the title, Gauff can take comfort in the fact she will rise to a career-high of 13th in the WTA rankings on Monday. She is already the youngest woman to be ranked in the world’s top 30 at present.

Despite her young age, Gauff has also shined at other Grand Slam events with runs to the fourth round on three separate occasions, as well as also reaching the last eight of the French Open last year.

“I definitely feel like this helped my confidence a lot. When I was 15, 16, 17, I felt so much pressure to make a final. Now that I made it, I feels like a relief a little bit.” she said.

There is no time to rest for Gauff who will return to the court in less than 24 hours to play in the women’s doubles final alongside Jessican Pegula. The pair will take on home favourites Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia.

“I don’t know what my happiest moment has been (at the French Open this year). Hopefully it will be tomorrow if we can win in doubles. Hopefully that will be the happiest moment,” Gauff concluded.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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