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Coco Gauff is into the semi-finals of the Italian Open, but her time in Rome has not been without its difficulties. The world No. 3 has made 41 double faults across her four matches at the WTA 1000 event so far and admits she is making technical changes to her serve that are tough to do during a season. She adds, though, that she is feeling “positive and optimistic”.

Coco Gauff says making improvements to her serve is a “long-term” process and she is still backing herself to “continue to go big”.
The world No. 3 has had a difficult time with her serve recently, making 13 double faults in defeat to Madison Keys in Madrid and so far adding 41 more in four matches at the Italian Open.

She hit 11 as she battled back to beat Paula Badosa in the last 16, before sending down a further six as she progressed past Qinwen Zheng to set up a semi-final against Iga Swiatek.

“I’ve been working on it,” said Gauff on her serve after her win over Badosa.
“I think for me the focus will be getting more first serves in. I think my first-serve percentage was low, but my win percentage was in the high 70s or something like that. I think once I can get that down…”

Gauff says she is trying to make technical changes to the shot, but is finding it challenging doing so during a tournament.
“Honestly, I bet on myself to continue to go big,” she added.
“I know when I go big and my serve goes in, it’s dangerous. Even though this tournament I want to win, I’m trying to think long-term. I don’t want to lose the 120 serve by not going for it.
“There’s definitely technical changes I’m trying to make. It’s obviously tough to do in-season and in-tournament. I feel like from the night before my last match to now, I feel like it’s better. It’s only been two days. I’m trying.”
Gauff’s win over Qinwen saw her improve to 7-2 on clay this season.

Her pursuit of a first clay title since 2021 will continue when she faces Swiatek on Friday.

Gauff says she is pleased with the way she has been able to win matches despite the struggles with the serve.
“I think it’s actually more positive and optimistic for me to get through these matches when you’re not playing your best and still finding a way,” she said.
“I think I’m getting there. I can feel it. Like when I’m playing, today I was definitely a lot more aggressive. Yeah, there were some more errors, but I think that’s the way I want to play in these matches. I know sooner or later I’m going to be making more.
“I kind of played the same way from the first to the third set, but I think the difference was I was just making more of those short balls, putting away the ball more instead of making errors.”
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