American Coco Gauff said her loss to world number one Ash Barty in last week’s Adelaide International 1 WTA tournament was an important lesson on what she needs to do to raise her level ahead of the Australian Open. Gauff, ranked 19 in the world, took the opening set before Australian Barty rallied to seal a 4-6 7-5 6-1 victory but the 17-year-old said there were plenty of things that she was encouraged by during the defeat.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to work on… taking more positives when I lose, not beat myself up,” Gauff said after beating Ana Konjuh 6-3 6-4 in the Adelaide International 2 tournament on Thursday.

17-year-old @CocoGauff books her spot in the final four! 🌈#AdelaideTennis pic.twitter.com/sKLifCjVgr

— wta (@WTA) January 13, 2022

“It’s never good to lose. I will say if I’m going to lose, that’s how I want to, where I had chances, I fought the whole match, I was mentally engaged the whole match.

“She just played better when she needed to. Sometimes that’s what happens when you play the number one player in the world. I know I need to raise my level even more. It was a good lesson for me early in the season.”

Gauff, who shot to fame as a 15-year-old when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2019, said she had to take a step back and look at “all the good things that I’ve done.”

“I think like as a champion, obviously most champions are pretty hard on themselves, but not to the point where you’re almost beating yourself up,” Gauff added.

“That’s where I was making my mistakes and sometimes I even still do. It’s important to celebrate your wins. I’m trying to do a better job of celebrating my wins.”

Gauff faces China’s Wang Qiang in the opening round of the Jan. 17-30 Australian Open.

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