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  • "Think you’re tough writing as an unknown loser" - Serena Williams' ex-coach defends Coco Gauff amid criticism after China Open SF loss to Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek (L) and Coco Gauff (R)

"Think you’re tough writing as an unknown loser" - Serena Williams' ex-coach defends Coco Gauff amid criticism after China Open SF loss to Iga Swiatek

Serena Williams' former coach Rennae Stubbs has come to Coco Gauff's defense after she was subjected to criticism following her defeat to Iga Swiatek at the 2023 China Open.

Swiatek delivered one of her best performances of the season to defeat Gauff 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals of the WTA 1000 event. With her win, the Pole snapped the 19-year-old's 16-match winning streak, which included her title wins at the Cincinnati Open and the US Open, as well as her campaign in Beijing.

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Gauff, who claimed her first-ever win over Swiatek en route to her maiden WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Open, suffered her eighth loss to the Pole in nine matches.

Following her defeat, Coco Gauff was subjected to criticism on social media, prompting Rennae Stubbs to come to her defense. Stubbs expressed frustration with the negative comments directed at the 19-year-old.

She criticized those who were making harsh judgements about players from behind the safety of their anonymous profiles, without ever experiencing the pressure of professional tennis themselves.

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"The crap i read on Twitter is 🤯! People commenting on Coco being this or that as well as other players. Like seriously u people think you’re tough writing as an unknown loser who puts a player down but have never put themselves out there in these kinds of moments! 🤯 get a life!" Stubbs posted.
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Iga Swiatek after defeating Coco Gauff in China Open SF: "It feels like I can play freely again"

Coco Gauff in action at the China Open SF

With her win over Coco Gauff in the semifinals of the China Open, Iga Swiatek advanced to her third WTA 1000 final of the season and her seventh tour-level final in 2023.

Following her victory, the Pole stated that she was able to play "freely" once more after going through a challenging period. She also emphasized her intention to carry the lesson of mental resilience with her throughout her career.

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"It feels like I can play freely again. It’s been a while since I felt that way. I’ll remember for the rest of my career that even though tougher times may come; in your mind you can always overcome that,” the 22-year-old said in her on-court interview.

The World No. 2 expressed satisfaction with her change in attitude after her title defense at the 2023 US Open ended in a fourth-round defeat to Jelena Ostapenko.

"With hard work you can achieve it. I’m happy I switched my attitude after the US Open. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it as long as possible," she added.

Following her win over Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek will lock horns with Liudmila Samsonova in the China Open final. The Pole enjoys a perfect 2-0 record against the Russian, having won their most recent encounter at the 2023 Dubai Tennis Championships in straight sets.

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Edited by
Urvi Mehra
 
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