Coco Gauff suggested that she experienced a sense of helplessness and felt like there was nothing more she could do against an in-form Jelena Ostapenko at the 2023 Australian Open on Sunday. Gauff, who was stunned 5-7, 3-6 by the 2017 French Open champion in a fourth-round match, expressed her frustration at being unable to further capitalize on a brilliant run of form to start the season.
World No. 7 Gauff entered the last-16 clash against Ostapenko on the back of eight consecutive wins, having not dropped a single set in each of those matches. While her loss to Ostapenko is certainly an upset on paper, the American teenage superstar stressed that she ran into the Latvian competing at her very best.
Gauff highlighted that her frustration stemmed from her inability to convert her good form and confidence into a Grand Slam title victory, but praised her opponent's level. At the same time, she feels like a much improved player.
"I think it's (feeling of frustration) because I worked really hard, and I felt really good coming into the tournament, and I still feel good. Like, I still feel like I've improved a lot," a dejected Coco Gauff said in her post-match press conference.
"But, you know, when you play a player like her and she plays really well, it's like, you know, there's nothing you can do."
The 18-year-old then got a little bit emotional as she reflected on a 'rough' outing on the court on Sunday.
"I feel like today I would say nothing because every match you play a part in, but I feel like it was rough. So it's a little bit frustrating on that part," Gauff said, tearing up.
"I'm okay. We can keep going," the American added.
Coco Gauff reveals her "problem-solving" skills were neutralized by powerful Jelena Ostapenko
Reflecting on her fourth-round match, Coco Gauff said that her usually effective problem-solving abilities were rendered completely ineffective against Jelena Ostapenko. Gauff admitted that she had very few answers to Ostapenko's game and her consistent ball-striking, adding to her frustration during the match. The American explained how Ostapenko had an almost perfect reply to every shot she made.
Eventually, she felt as if it was just not her day to emerge victorious and move into another Grand Slam quarterfinal.
"I mean, there was moments in the match where I was getting frustrated because I normally can problem-solve, but today I feel like I didn't have much answers to what she was doing," Coco Gauff said on the same.
"There was balls I was hitting deep, and she was hitting them on the line and hitting them back deep, like, over and over again. It's just one of those days that just didn't go my way and went her way."
Gauff's overall campaign at the 2023 Australian Open was certainly an improvement on her 2022 campaign, where she lost in the opening round. However, she was one of the title favorites this year. As far as Grand Slams are concerned, the 18-year-old will now shift her focus to the French Open, where she reached the finals last year and will once again enter the tournament as one of the favorites.