Misc Tennis

Gauff’s Goal: Bring the Heat

Gauff's Goal: Bring the Heat

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Photo credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport

A year before Coco Gauff won her maiden major at the US Open, she was already going places.

The 20-year-old Gauff earned her first Class E driver’s license back in 2022.

More: Gauff Soars Into Wimbledon Third Round

These days, Gauff dreams of bringing the gas.

World No. 2 Gauff crushed 19-year-old Grand Slam debutant Anca Todoni 6-2, 6-1, rolling into the Wimbledon second round in just 66 minutes.

Gauff did not drop serve in today’s win and has surrendered just six games in two tournament wins.

Afterward, Gauff was asked if she checks the radar gun after serves as former world No. 1 Serena Williams did.

Not only does Gauff scan serve speed as a gauge of going for it, she shared a serve revelation.

Gauff is a speed freak with a serving goal: Crank a 130 mph serve in a match.

“I do check the serve speed sometimes in the match because I try to make sure I go for it,” Gauff said. “Sometimes unconsciously when you’re tight, maybe you try to just get the serve in. There are times where I’ll check.

“If I miss, even if I miss and the serve is like 119 or 118 and up, I’m like okay, that’s good. I hate to miss when it’s slower. I want to get to 130. I think the fastest I’ve gotten is 128. Do I have a 130 in me? I don’t know. Maybe if I was a little bit taller. I can get definitely 130. Now, if it goes in, I don’t know.”

If that 130 mph triple digit heat sounds a bit ambitious—Georgina García Pérez owns the fastest recorded women’s serve at 136.7 mph—consider today Gauff’s fastest serve was 122 mph and her average first-serve speed was 112 mph.

At the 2022 US Open, Gauff rocketed a 128 mph serve—the seventh-fastest recorded women’s serve in the Open Era (remember the US Open is notorious for a fast radar gun)—and Hall of Famer and seismic server Andy Roddick, who has worked with Gauff streamlining her serve and lowering her ball toss a bit—has said during his Tennis Channel commentary that she routinely hits mid to high 120 mph serves in practice.

Of course, the best servers show us serving percentage, second-serve strength and serving amid break-point pressure are all key components to a developing a dominant serve.

Today, Gauff served just 43 percent for the match and was under 40 percent on first serves in the first set. While she backed up both first and second serves beautifully, you…

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