Coco Gauff has softened the transition from French Open clay to Wimbledon gras with a stop on hardcourts in the South of France.
The 17-year-old American whose only previous Tour experience on grass came at Wimbledon two year ago – with a first-round defeat of Venus Williams – went from the Paris quarter-finals to training on cement at Patrick Mouratoglou’s academy.
The No. 23 who will make her debut this week at the WTA Eastbourne Wimbledon warmup, starts on the English south coast with Belgian seventh seed Elise Mertens.
“I’ve only made this transition once in my life,” Gauff said on Sunday, “Going straight from clay to grass can be dangerous as the movement is completely different.
“On hardcourt, at least you know when you will stop (in a movement), on grass you might slip a bit.”
Gauff’s method follows the template used by Serena Williams and by former Wimbledon winner Andre Agassi..
I think it’s the American (player) way to train on hardcourt before grass,” Gauff said. “It’s somewhere in the middle between clay and the grass.”
The teenager said she chose to stick to France after Paris to avoid the British player COVID bubble life for as long as possible.
“Anyway, I don’t think there are any grass courts in the south of France anyway.”
Gauff said she does not want to contrast her second Wimbledon appearance with her first in 2019, where she reached the rough round before losing to Simona Halep.
“WImbledon was the start of everything for me, it changed my life in a good way.
“But 2019 seems so long ago, I haven’t had any Wimbledon flashbacks yet, but maybe they will when I arrive.
“I’m not feeling any pressure, and I don’t want to compare previous results. I’m just inspired to get back on the grass.
“I’ve only played the surface once before (at the WTA level); I’m still learning on this surface.”