Star Improvement: How Brad Gilbert Set Up Goff’s Game

Mid Saturday at the All England Club, Brad Gilbert received a call from Coco Goff’s agent, Alessandro Barel di Sant Albano. meet

“I’ve only interviewed her once or twice. but never really met her So we sat down and talked for about an hour at Wimbledon,” Gilbert said Tuesday from Toronto. “We talked. Man, she’s so bright. I told her something I saw I could do. They said `we’ll get back to you.'”

The rest may be history. The man who coached Andre Agassi won six out of eight Grand Slam titles. Andy Roddick was his only major at the 2003 US Open, and was shortened to Andy Murray. that a 2-day trial becomes a one-week trial The two sides have agreed to a two-week extension, which includes the WTA 1000 in Toronto and Cincinnati and possibly the US Open.

Creating Coco 2.0: How Gauff’s New Team Changed Her Game

On Wednesday, Gauff put in another impressive performance, beating Katie Boulter 6-2, 6-2 in the first round at the Omnium National Bank tournament in Montreal. 73 minute quick outing

It was her fifth consecutive victory. And progress to the last 16 on Thursday alongside Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova. which beat Caroline Wozniacki, world No. 1

Gilbert’s only concrete plan for the summer was three weeks in New York, working at the US Open as an analyst for ESPN, but along with Pere Riba he helped coach one of the most attractive prospects ever in tennis. Seen over the years, Goff, only 19, reached the fourth round of Wimbledon four years ago.

She was a French Open finalist at age 18, and with Gilbert in the field at the Mubadala Citi DC Open, she won the biggest title of her career, beating Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Winning Sunday Gauff ranked 7th among Hologic WTA Tour players.

Gauff won three matches and played with confidence that has been elusive lately. She may be the fastest player on the women’s side and has a superb backhand. But at the root of her struggle is a disagreement. Her extreme grip and long swings mean her timing has to be perfect.

And when you face the best players There are almost no perfect conditions for forehanding. Because her defense is so reliable, Gauff tends to play too passively. Top players hit the ball hard. But Gilbert said Goff had tangible tools.

“Everybody tries to play forehand. I’m not going to sit here and act like it’s a secret,” Goff said in Washington.

Enter Gilbert, who is making a number of adjustments to her game – none of which involve the forehand.

“We didn’t change anything with the forehand,” he says, laughing. “I never even said that word.

“Everybody wants to win. i have to win this and i have to win that it excites you Especially when everyone asks for forehands all day long. that started eating you It also makes other shots. It gets worse when you can only focus on one thing. So I usually don’t stick to it at all.”

The biggest technical change was to bring Goff about 8 feet back when returning to serve. and gets even more aggressive when she serves

“The game is simple: if you destroy it and you hold it, [serve] more than your opponent, you win,” said Gilbert. “She immediately made a huge change that I did last week. It makes a big difference. She got a lot of rewards.

“I focus on little things. It’s doing what you can control right now.”

equally important Gilbert and Riba are producing a more detailed spying report on their opponents. by designing a specific playing plan

“She communicates a lot with me at Pere in games,” says Gilbert.

It may sound counterintuitive. But not focusing on the forehand Gilbert was freeing Goff’s mind. Don’t get caught up in shots that sometimes break down at crucial moments.

“One hundred percent,” Gilbert said. “I’ve gotten hundreds of messages — edit frontend. edit frontend You’re not just going to change the handle. Because you have to change arm positions and do a lot of other things. I’m not doing that right now.”

Gilbert hasn’t worked closely with Tour players since Kei Nishikori (2011) and Sam Querrey (2012), though he says he’s actively involved in the game as a coach at the IMG Academy in Breeze. Denton, Florida, and do clinical and assessment of young players. He is also the owner of the Brad Gilbert Tennis Nation in San Rafael, California.

He is now 61 years old. It has been more than three decades since he ranked 4th as an ATP player. Gilbert has no formidable weapons but has survived through cunning and patience. He’s excited to be back in the big race again. You can hear his voice as he explains the practice to Goff.

And no, he’s not worried about communicating with teenagers.

“I have a woman who is 31 years old. [Julian] and 26 [Zoe]Gilbert said “I think I might talk to them when I’m 19.”

While Riba is considered the main coach, Gilbert is described as a mentor. He said he was willing to serve as an “assistant” coach.

“She works unbelievably hard,” says Gilbert. “And her best feature is that she’s very humble. To be honest, she’s happy to be around. She has a heart of gold and wants to get better. That is your goal as a tennis player.”

His biggest disappointment? Goff was very young. She had never heard of his favorite musical performance before.

“I’m trying to teach you a little bit about [Tom] Petty and the Eagles are old songs,” he says, “trying to help her discover new songs. She had never even heard of an eagle.”

Gauff said, “Philadelphia Eagles?”

Gilbert then asked her about the Grateful Dead. “She had never heard of them,” he said. “She looked at me like I was talking about alphabet soup. I feel uncomfortable about that.

“I told her I’d seen Tom Petty live more than 75 times — and she couldn’t believe it. Metallica’s number is also quite large.”

The highly organized and cerebral Gilbert incubates the beginning of the plan.

“Metallica is playing here on Friday and Sunday,” he said. “I think maybe she’ll play during the day on Friday… Yeah, I’m thinking ahead. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But if so and you will get [quarterfinal] Win and watch the program for one day. Life is good. “

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