Coco Gauff, the seventh seed at the Australian Open took up boxing in pre-season as an effective way of improving her cardio after finding out that her heart rate didn’t stay high for long.
Gauff in her column, said that she was initially worried about going to a gym because even though she had met Mike Tyson, her boxing skills were not very good.
“The pre-season training was in a proper gym where there were professional fighters training and whenever they would come to watch I was talking really loudly – like, ‘yeah, my tennis tournament’ – so they knew I wasn’t a fighter,” wrote Gauff in her column for BBC. “I didn’t want them to think this girl is trash and is going to get whooped! I wanted them to know this is not what I do,” she added.
Gauff is set to face Emma Radacanu in her second-round match at the Australian Open. In her pre-season, she said she took up different sports in an effort to make training a fun experience and go back to her roots. As a young and upcoming tennis player, Gauff would often be playing basketball and would take part in gymnastics and track programmes as well.
“My fitness coach Stephane is trying to find extra ways to get me tired and do extra cardio because my heart rate doesn’t stay high for long. Hopefully I will be in the game for another 20 years and so you have to make it fun and change it up,” wrote Gauff
Taking up other sports for her fitness has also meant that the American has started to swim. “As well as boxing, I did some swimming. For me, swimming is one of those things which gets me the most tired. I can run forever and do a lot of things forever, but swimming I feel like I’m done after two laps,” wrote Gauff.