Gauff Says Tweaked Serve Needs Time to Take Off 

USA's Coco Gauff serves to Spain's Paula Badosa during the Women's WTA Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 13, 2024. (AFP)
USA's Coco Gauff serves to Spain's Paula Badosa during the Women's WTA Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 13, 2024. (AFP)
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Gauff Says Tweaked Serve Needs Time to Take Off 

USA's Coco Gauff serves to Spain's Paula Badosa during the Women's WTA Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 13, 2024. (AFP)
USA's Coco Gauff serves to Spain's Paula Badosa during the Women's WTA Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 13, 2024. (AFP)

American Coco Gauff has accumulated 35 double faults in three matches at the Italian Open, but the world number three said the technical changes to her serve only need time to settle.

A potent serve can be a powerful weapon in tennis, but US Open champion Gauff has struggled with her delivery in the clay swing, averaging almost 10 double faults in the five matches that she played on the slower surface ahead of Rome.

Gauff sent down 11 more in Monday's 5-7 6-4 6-1 win over Paula Badosa, but the 20-year-old said after making the quarter-finals that she was already seeing some improvements ahead of the French Open which starts on May 26.

"I'm going big on the first serve, so I know I'm probably going to miss more. It's just finding the balance of going big but also knowing when to slow down just to get the serve in," Gauff, the 2022 Roland Garros runner-up, told reporters.

"I bet on myself to continue to go big. 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 (mph) serve by not going for it."

World number two Aryna Sabalenka famously struggled with her serve over the last few years before a stint with a biomechanics trainer turned her weakness into a weapon, which she deployed to great effect en route to winning two Australian Opens titles.

Gauff, who is coached by Brad Gilbert and Jean-Christophe Faurel, said she was also trying to make technical tweaks.

"It's tough to do in-season and in-tournament," she said.

"I feel from the night before my last match to now, it's better. It's only been two days. I'm trying."



Teenagers Yamal and Cubarsi Included in Young Spain Squad for European Championship 

Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)
Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)
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Teenagers Yamal and Cubarsi Included in Young Spain Squad for European Championship 

Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)
Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)

Spain is set to take a young squad to the European Championship, with teenagers Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi among the players picked by coach Luis de la Fuente on Monday.

Fermín López, the 21-year-old Barcelona forward, also was included in the list of 29 players announced by the coach, who will have to cut three names from the squad for the tournament in Germany. López has yet to make his debut with the national team.

“They have talent and motivation,” De la Fuente said. “They are very versatile players. Fermín will take a leap forward with this call-up. I hope that they will benefit and show all the potential that they have.”

Ayoze Pérez was another of the few surprises on the list, with the 30-year-old Real Betis forward getting his first call-up to the senior squad.

Other strikers included Atletico Madrid’s Álvaro Morata and Real Madrid’s Joselu, as well as the 16-year-old Yamal of Barcelona and 21-year-old Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao.

Along with Cubarsi, the 17-year-old Barcelona center back, other defenders included Madrid’s Nacho Fernández and 38-year-old veteran Jesús Navas of Sevilla.

Forwards Marco Asensio of Paris Saint-Germain, Pablo Sarabia of Wolverhampton, Brais Méndez of Real Sociedad and Gerard Moreno of Villarreal were left out.

Veteran Atletico midfielder Koke Resurrección also didn’t make the squad.

Spain will be aiming for a record fourth European Championship. It was drawn into Group B with Italy, Albania and Croatia.

“It’s a very difficult group but we are prepared,” De la Fuente said. “We will be fighting to be among the title contenders in the end.”

Spain will play warmups against Andorra and Northern Ireland before heading to Germany.