Coco Gauff has quickly put her WTA Finals disappointment behind her by jumping straight into pre-season training for her next campaign. The American teenager landed the first grand slam of her embryotic career in September when she beat Arnya Sabalenka to win the US Open in New York.
But the world No. 3 could not follow it up with success at the season-ending WTA Finals in Cancun, where she was knocked out in the semi-finals by her doubles partner and fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-1.
If had been a similar story at the China Open last month with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek defeating Gauff at the semi-final stage 6-2, 6-3, but the 19-year-old has already put those near-misses behind her by starting her 2024 campaign preparations early.
Gauff posted a photograph of herself on Instagram wearing an oxygen mask on a running machine at the Barwis Performance Centre in Florida. The photo was captioned: “preseason day 1. we back.”
One social media user suggested that Gauff was undertaking a Vo2 Max test on the machine, a process which measures aerobic fitness levels by determining how much oxygen the body can absorb during exercise.
Gauff has been tipped to reach the top of the world rankings in women’s tennis but will be all too aware of the necessity to remain in peak physical condition if she is to achieve her goal.
She has won four titles on tour this season, claiming the Cincinnati Open, Washington DC Open and New Zealand’s ASB Classic in addition to her maiden slam triumph at Flushing Meadows. A record that reads 51 wins and just six losses has earned her £5.38million in prize money since the turn of the year.
Gauff has also enjoyed success in doubles during 2023, winning two titles with Pegula and reaching another two finals with the same playing partner.
But when the two came up against each other in Cancun, it was the older and more experienced Pegula who coped better with the adverse weather conditions during a match that had to be delayed by an hour because of showers.
Speaking after the defeat in Mexico, Gauff said: “She was playing well with the wind, and I wasn’t. So, yeah, that’s pretty much it. At the end of the day, she was the more experienced player when it came to these circumstances. So I’m not going to blame the weather or anything. We were in the same boat.”
Gauff leapfrogged Pegula in the world rankings when she won the US Open title in New York.