Thanks for visiting the Australian Open Website. We can see you’re using Internet Explorer, and wanted to let you know that we will no longer be supporting this browser in future. We’d recommend you download a new browser if you'd like to continue keeping up with all of the latest tennis news!

Five reasons why Coco Gauff is ready to win her first AO

  • Matt Trollope

A teen phenom widely believed to be destined for the highest heights in the sport, Coco Gauff proved those predictions correct with her victory at this year’s US Open.

Still just 19 years of age, the American star is ranked world No.3 in both singles and doubles – testament to a brilliant 2023 season and her well-rounded game and mentality.

She enters Australian Open 2024 as the game’s newest major champion and keen to build on her success.

We examine why she is well placed to do that come January.

She’s shifted her mindset

When Gauff shook up her coaching team mid-season and added Pere Riba and Brad Gilbert, the impact was immediate.

They made some minor tweaks to her forehand wing and positioning around the ball, but the emphasis instead was on maximising her many other strengths.

These included the huge serve. World-beating backhand. Supreme movement and physical fitness. Her fighting spirit.

Renewed with positivity, and also cognisant of Gilbert’s “winning ugly” mantra, Gauff was unstoppable on US hard courts throughout the summer. Amidst it all her forehand took care of itself, rarely breaking down.

“I knew she was going to go out there swinging, and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to win this match the way I like to play,” Gauff said after beating Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open final.

“I don't like to play the way that I played today. Running around the court, it's fun, but, you know, it's not as fun as hitting winners.”

Pere has since left the team, but Gilbert remains, and together, they’ll target more success at Australian Open 2024.

Ominously for her rivals, Gauff said following her win in New York: “I think the pressure has been taken off a little bit, and I still am hungry for more.”

She’s banked wins, and confidence

Since a first-round loss at Wimbledon to Sofia Kenin, Gauff won 24 of her last 28 matches in 2023.

At one stage she won 16 in a row, a streak taking in titles in Cincinnati and the US Open and carrying her into the Beijing semifinals.

Coco Gauff poses with her trophies from winning Washington DC (left), Cincinnati (centre) and US Open (right), completing an unforgettable US summer hard-court season. [Getty Images]

In the last four months of the season, just two players – Iga Swiatek and Jessica Pegula – were able to beat her.

Nothing builds confidence like winning matches, and Gauff did a lot of winning in the back half of the season.

She ended 2023 with win-loss records of 51-16 in singles and 36-12 in doubles – a collective total of 87 match wins and a success rate of more than 75 per cent – and six titles overall, with four coming in singles.

Her hard-court prowess grows

Of those 51 singles victories in 2023, 40 came on hard courts, and her winning rate on this surface spiked to almost 82 per cent.

She opened the year with a tournament triumph on Auckland’s hard courts, and then dominated the North American summer hard-court swing, sweeping titles in Washington DC, Cincinnati and the US Open.

She surprised herself here, revealing in a Tennis Channel interview she assumed a Grand Slam breakthrough would come in Paris.

“I didn’t have a good grass season and then all of a sudden the hard-court swing turned around for me,” Gauff said.

“I never thought US Open would have been where it would happen (laughter). I always thought it would have been Roland Garros, because all my best results have been on clay.”

Gauff will enjoy the opportunity to maintain this impressive momentum during January, with the entire Australian summer of tennis – concluding with AO 2024 – staged on hard courts.

She wins a lot in Australia

Australia is also a place where Gauff thrives.

In her past four trips Down Under, spanning 2020 to 2023, she has won twice as many matches as she’s lost, winning 18 of 27 overall. Among those wins have been victories over major champions Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu.

There was her run to the Adelaide International semifinals as a qualifier in 2021, a result she repeated in 2022 at Adelaide International 2.

She has also twice reached the last 16 at the Australian Open.

Trends show she’s due a big run

Gauff may be poised to improve on those fourth-round showings at Melbourne Park.

That’s because recently, Grand Slam champions have been performing better at the very next Slam they play after major triumphs.

In the six years since Serena Williams won Australian Open 2017 and took a break after announcing her pregnancy, it became rare for players who had won a major to perform well at the very next Slam.

Just three times in 23 Grand Slam tournaments did a major champion manage to reach at least the quarterfinals at the next Grand Slam event they played.

Yet in 2023, it happened three times in a row.


(Minimum quarterfinal)


Slam result

Next Slam


Jelena Ostapenko

Won Roland Garros

QF Wimbledon 2017


Naomi Osaka

Won US Open

Won Australian Open 2019


Naomi Osaka

Won US Open

Won Australian Open 2021


Aryna Sabalenka

Won Australian Open

SF Roland Garros 2023


Iga Swiatek

Won Roland Garros

QF Wimbledon 2023


Marketa Vondrousova

Won Wimbledon

QF US Open 2023


Coco Gauff

Won US Open



Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka progressed to the semifinals at Roland Garros, which was won by Swiatek. Swiatek went on to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, where Marketa Vondrousova triumphed. Vondrousova was then a quarterfinalist at the US Open, and that’s where Gauff reigned supreme.

It begs the question – is Gauff due a quarterfinal run, or better, at AO 2024?

Should she make it that far, don’t be surprised if that winning feeling kicks in again and she rides it all the way to another glittering Grand Slam trophy.