ROME, May 14 — 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 yesterday’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.

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“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.

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“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.” — Reuters