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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday, April 21, 2023

After Miami, Coco Gauff learned that her coach Diego Moyano would have to step down for personal reasons. Not an ideal situation ahead of clay season for the World No.6, but the timing could be right as she contemplates adding layers of aggression to her game.

Tennis Express

For now, Gauff is guided by her parents, as she always has been, so not much will change in that regard, as the search for a new full-time coach is conducted.

"It wasn't really my decision," Gauff recently said of the split with Moyano. "He was having some personal things going on, so he had to step down. So I would say it was something that I think both of us didn't want to happen, because we did have such a good time together. But I understand that, and I wish him nothing but the best.

"I know that he's always a person that if I need to call I'll pick up the phone, and I had a great year with him."

Minor changes for a major title?

For years Gauff’s athleticism has been her calling card, but recently the 19-year-old has come to believe that she is relying too much on defense to win matches. It’s a fine solution against most players on tour, but against elite talent Gauff tends to lack punch. She can look adrift against the elite – since last May she has lost 10 of 12 decisions against the Top 10, with her forehand often exposed as a reliability rather than a strength.

Gauff’s next coach might have to be a forehand whisperer, and one who encourages the American to step out of her comfort zone and start taking the play to her opponents more often.

It’s something that Gauff is reluctant to do, and who can blame her? She’s risen to the Top 10 and reached a Grand Slam final as a teenager playing her style.

That said, Gauff is aware that her next step will need to be inside the court. She has talked often of wanting to rely less on her speed and defense, and more on her power. But she wants to do it gradually.

“I don’t think I will ever be like Rybakina who can really literally hit someone off the court,” she said this week in Stuttgart. “I think more so the way I want to play is being aggressive on the right shots.”

Gauff believes that she has been losing matches due to her lack of aggression, and she’s committed to making the adjustments that help her become a more lethal force on tour. The serve and the backhand already give her a perfect template to work with.

“I feel like since [Roland-Garros[ last year, I feel like the way I have been losing matches has been because of [relying on defense], I need to change something. So I think just keeping that mentality I had last year, using my physicality to make them play tennis but also not making them comfortable where they feel like they can just hit me off the court. So I think it’s just finding that balance, and I’m still trying to figure it out.”