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By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Sunday, January 14, 2024
For those wondering who inspired US Open champion Coco Gauff and her new service motion, look no further than a former US Open winner.

The answer—former No. 1 and Hall of Famer Andy Roddick.

Gauff’s coach, Brad Gilbert, revealed all during the first day of ESPN’s Australian Open coverage from down under. During a segment, ESPN’s Chris McKendry asked Gilbert about who was behind Gauff’s recent serving change. Gilbert revealed that Roddick stepped in during the off-season to offer a few suggestions.

That makes total sense given Gilbert coached Roddick during the early part of his career and continues to keep in touch with the all-time great.

“I coached Andy at a young age. He’s got an amazing serve. And I was thinking, “What a great person to take a look at Coco’s serve,” Gilbert said. “It’s kind of full circle. When I coached Andy, I was his age now. Andy was like Coco’s age. It was a great two days. Really helped things out (and) simplified Coco’s motion (and) abbreviated a little bit.”

Gauff’s new service motion was on full display at the recent Auckland, New Zealand ASB Classic event where Gauff repeated as champion.

In her Melbourne pre-event press conference, Gauff talked about the serve adjustments, though she did not mention Roddick’s name.

“It only took me like two days, maybe three, to get really comfortable with it,” Gauff said. She added, “It was just to make the toss more consistent. Instead of throwing from so low to start up higher to make the toss more consistent.”

Gauff, the No. 4 seed in Melbourne, will face Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
 in her opening round.