American teenager Coco Gauff admitted that she needs to “change her mentality” after a error-strewn defeat to Anastasia Potapova at the Miami Open.
The 19-year-old from Florida let a big lead slip away and then dropped the last five games in a 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 loss on Saturday
Gauff felt she played too defensively after serving for the victory at 5-3 in the second set.
“That’s kind of been where I’ve been messing up in all my matches this year,” the 2022 French Open runner-up said. “All the ones I’ve lost I think I lost because of that. I think it should be more used as a tool in a toolbox than as a weapon.
“I have to change my mentality in the game about not relying on that too much because I think sometimes I play a little bit too passive because I know I can get to balls.”
The two hour, 41 minute match in the early afternoon heat ebbed and flowed before Potapova took a firm grip in the third set.
The 27th seeded Russian led 5-2 in the first set but Gauff fought back to win the tie-break after Potapova went wide with a poor shot on set-point.
Gauff looked to have the momentum and served for the match at 5-3 up in the second set but with nothing to lose, Potapova changed gears and her free-swinging approach paid off with her winning the next four games.