CoCo Vandeweghe likes to talk and she is very honest and direct. So, it makes for very good interviews and you need let her use her own words.
After beating Lucie Safarova, 6-4 7-6(2) to move to the US Open Quarterfinals for the first time, you have to wonder, what clicked with Vandeweghe? Before this year, she was somewhat of a journeyman, who did okay, but never made runs like these.
Well according to her it was health and being fully able to train.
So to put it in her own words:
“The beginning part of the year, I think it starts with the offseason work. I went into the offseason first time without an injury, and I was able to have a full offseason there,” she said. “I was really confident in my fitness. I was confident there. Tennis just kind of followed suit afterwards.
“I also had a great time playing Hopman Cup. Hopman Cup was a lot of fun. Beat a lot of good players there. That just carried over into the Australian Open. Match after match fell into place. I got lucky in certain areas, which you kind of need in a Grand Slam over two weeks. That’s the most difficult place to play well for two weeks is, you know, show up every day and perform well.
“And then, you know, from there, a lot of things happened in between from Australia to the French Open. Probably the only good thing that happened there was Fed Cup. I really enjoyed playing Fed Cup. Having a big victory there against the Czech Republic helped boost me confidence-wise to pushing forward into the clay court season where it’s no secret that’s not my favorite place to be.
“But then into Wimbledon, under Pat, it was good results. Good, hard work in between. Even after Wimbledon, I was stuck there practicing with Pat, which it wasn’t always the best feeling when you’ve already lost in the tournament. You’re still on-site practicing and seeing all these people that are winning and you’re stuck there practicing. That’s not always the best feeling.
“Coming to the U.S., I was happy to be playing back on the hard courts back at Stanford. I really love that place. It’s a fun tournament. And then here, all is going well.”
We couldn’t say it any better.
Vandeweghe, who had her uncle KiKi in attendance today, also thinks a lighter schedule helped her play strong coming into the US Open.
“I think previously leading up to the US Open, I was playing a lot,” she said. “I was scrounging for points at every single tournament, playing quallies.
“Coming to the U.S., you’re kind of done physically but most of all mentally. It takes a lot out of you to go in, reset every tournament. I think that’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. More so than the physical aspect of our sport, is the mental aspect of it.
“At the end of every tournament, there’s only one winner. Most people have to deal with a loss at some point and reset themselves.
“Sometimes you can; sometimes you can’t. Like, for instance, Stanford had a great tournament. Went to Toronto. Was completely mentally done. Unfortunately that’s the way it is. We play week to week.
“But other than that, I mean, it’s more just saying yes to hanging out with friends and saying yes to doing things around the grounds, along those lines. Not so much anything else.
“But this year it’s been — a lot of my time has been spent on the court. I play all three events this tournament. There wasn’t much time for me to kind of do any of that. This is probably the earliest day I have finished so far.”
She now played No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarters, whom she has a 2-2 lifetime record and plays a similar game.
So, it should be an interesting match.
“I think it’s definitely the first strike kind of tennis, I think is the easiest way to simplify it. If I’m hitting my shots, I’m definitely doing a lot better job in the scoreline than she is and vice versa,” she said.
“So, I think it’s pretty much as simple as that.”
Couldn’t say it better ourselves.