STUTTGART -- Coco Gauff is headed into her favorite part of the season full of confidence but without a coach. As the tour kicks off the European clay-court swing this week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she is set to play her first Hologic WTA Tour event without Diego Moyano, her coach for the past year.
Gauff, 19, and Moyano announced the amicable end of their partnership after the Miami Open.
"It wasn't really my decision," Gauff said in Stuttgart. "He was having some personal things going on, so he had to step down. So I would say it was something that I think both of us didn't want to happen, because we did have such a good time together. But I understand that, and I wish him nothing but the best.
"I know that he's always a person that if I need to call I'll pick up the phone, and I had a great year with him."
Thanks for an incredible year on tour together and a lot of great memories with the team. I hope you enjoy some quality time at home. As you always say, time to keep building💪🏾. @DIEGOAMOYANO1 pic.twitter.com/biHfRby4kW— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) April 3, 2023
For now, Gauff, the World No.6, will tackle the clay with her father, Cori, back in the primary coaching role and look to hiring someone after the Europe swing.
"I had the goal of maybe getting a coach before the clay season, but after Miami is when I found out from Diego, so I didn't have that much time to decide. Now I'm on the fence, of more so just staying with the situation that I have now instead of introducing someone new. But we'll see."
Gauff credits Moyano with fixing her serve and improving her tactics. Under the Argentinian's tutelage, Gauff advanced to her first major final, at Roland Garros last year, while picking up the Auckland championship in January, her third career title. She also advanced to her first US Open quarterfinal last fall.
"I think with Diego, I definitely became a better clay-court player," Gauff said. "That showed in the results. I think I became a better decision-maker. I think I was making better decisions on the court."
Gauff's improved week-to-week consistency was an important hallmark of her time with Moyano. Since the two paired up during last year's clay swing, Gauff advanced to the Round of 16 or better at 14 of 17 regular-season events.
In 11 of those runs, she proceeded to make the quarterfinals or better. She also made her Top 10 debut in singles and became the second youngest player to hold the No.1 ranking in doubles.
Seeded No.5, Gauff landed in Stuttgart on Monday after a quick turnaround from the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers in Delray Beach, where along with World No.3 Jessica Pegula, she helped Team USA book a spot in November's finals.
"I feel like [my confidence is] really high," Gauff said. "I feel like after Miami it did drop a little bit because I did have a tough match. Then I had the BJK Cup where I had a good week there. I feel like putting in retrospect where I was last year to this year, I feel like definitely I'm a much better player and I have to trust in that."
But even the most prodigious teenager on tour admits she still has to fight off the insecurities that can creep up on her.
"I feel like when I step on the court the confidence is high," Gauff said, "but I think throughout my life, even as a junior going into tournaments, I would get a lot of anxiety about where I was playing-wise, and then when I stepped on the court, I definitely feel like I can win the match.
"I think it's just fighting those thoughts and understanding that I belong here. You know, imposter syndrome is a thing, so sometimes I get that, but it's something that I'm working on to realize I'm here for a reason and my ranking is here for a reason and I definitely deserve that."