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Coco Gauff’s coach fires shots at Paula Badosa for playing dirty at Italian Open


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The coach of Coco Gauff took aim at Paula Badosa after his player beat the Spaniard in the last-16 of the Italian Open. The No.3 seed came through a tough clash in Rome 5-7 6-4 6-1 to set up a quarter-final clash with Chinese player Qinwen Zheng on Tuesday night.

It was the latest impressive win for the 20-year-old American, following her maiden Grand Slam success at the US Open last year. But coach Brad Gilbert wasn’t happy afterwards, taking to social media to complain about Badosa’s behaviour while she was serving.

“You have heard me say this so many times, catching your on ball toss on serve is should not be allowed,” he said on X. “How can you catch three tosses in a row and not at least get time violation is beyond ridiculous.”

Gilbert didn’t finish there, implying the authorities needed to clampdown on players taking their time with a ball in their hands. “Also allowing 45 catches in a match and nothing in rules is mind boggling and such disadvantage to returner,” he added.

His comments did not go down well online, however, with fans hitting back at Gilbert by suggesting he should focus on addressing the faults of his own player. Despite her progress in Rome, Gauff recorded 11 double faults as she continues to struggle with her own service game.

The former world No.4 was also branded unprofessional for publicly airing his gripe. @Susana_Olll wrote “Coaching a professional player and coming here with comments about her opponents shouldn’t be allowed either!”

@Emmagoatcanu added: “If I was a tennis player I’d certainly have a gag order in my coach’s contract. No public statements without my permission, I would not let my coach embarrass me like some of these men do regularly.”

Although Gilbert is responsible for her latest media storm, Gauff has made as many headlines off the courts as she has on it in the Italian capital. She weighed in on the feud between Drake and Kendrick Lamar, calling out the former for disrespecting Serena Williams.

“As far as the rap battle is going on, the rap beef, I think definitely Kendrick’s winning,” she said in a press conference. “Also, Drake dissed Serena, so I have to go with Kendrick. Kendrick defended her, so yeah, I have to go with him.”

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