Pere Riba has addressed his shock split with Coco Gauff after the American revealed that they were no longer working together. The Spanish tennis coach was part of Gauff’s team during her triumphant run to a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open but the world No 3 recently explained that they “had to end the partnership”. Riba has now confirmed that he parted ways with Gauff for personal family reasons.
Gauff found the magic formula when it came to her coaching camp this summer, as she hired Riba ahead of the grass-court season and added Brad Gilbert during the North American hard-court swing. The duo brought out the best in the 19-year-old, helping her win her home Grand Slam tournament.
But Riba has not joined the American at this week’s WTA Finals in Cancun and Gauff confirmed that he had left the team. Following the sudden announcement, the Spaniard has now addressed the split himself. Riba told Marca that he was not able to travel as much “due to personal family issues”.
Gauff’s former coach was still supporting her from afar as he backed the teenager to reach the top of the rankings. He added: “I am very happy with the work we have done together, because all the objectives were met, and I am convinced that next year Gauff will be No 1.”
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The six-time title winner herself said the pair were on good terms following their split and confirmed that Gilbert would now be her main coach after he joined her in Cancun. “Unfortunately it wasn’t my decision, but we had to end the partnership. I had a great time with him and I wish him the best in this next chapter,” Gauff said of her split with Riba.
“If it was up to me, I would’ve loved to have him here. But things happen, life happens. No bad terms on our end. Sometimes people think it’s bigger than what it is. Some things just didn’t work out. That’s all. I still think he’s a great guy. He did some amazing things for me personally and also for my game. I’m sure he’s gonna be successful in his next step.”
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Gauff got off to a winning start at the WTA Finals on Monday. This year marks the second time that the 19-year-old has qualified for the season-ending championships but she was unable to record any wins during the round-robin stage in the singles 12 months ago.
This time around, she stunned sixth seed Ons Jabeur 6-0 6-1, needing just 57 minutes to record her first win at the Finals. Gauff also qualified for the doubles draw with partner Jessica Pegula. The duo lost their opening match to Gaby Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe 7-6(2) 6-3.
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