On Saturday, (Sept 9th) Coco Gauff won the Women’s U.S. Open championship by defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the final 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Gauff, 19 years old, became the youngest woman to win the championship since Serena Williams won the title in 1999, at the age of 17 years old.
Gauff’s impressive triumph comes after facing a challenging lineup of opponents throughout her U.S. Open journey, attracting many viewers to her matches. She emerged victorious against some of the world’s top players, including her final opponent who held the second rank in the tournament.
Gauff delivered a thrilling performance and emerged victorious in her final set. Overcome with emotion, she fell to the court and shed a few tears before saying a quick prayer. She then sought out her parents, coaches, and other family members in the stands to celebrate with them. During her match on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Gauff was cheered on by a supportive crowd who chanted “Let’s go Coco” between sets. Despite being a fan favorite, Gauff remained modest after beating Sablenka and acknowledged that she still has room to grow as a player. However, she has also learned to accept and appreciate herself on a personal level.
“I learned how to just stay within myself but also embrace it… Before I tried to ignore it, but now I’m really embracing it and I still feel like I have long, long ways to develop as a player. Today was nowhere near my best, but it was just enough that I needed to win in that moment,” Gauff said.
Gauff appeared on the TODAY Show Monday morning to discuss her surreal victory.
“It’s still crazy… Even last night I was telling myself, ‘You’re a Grand Slam champion,’ and it doesn’t feel real at all,” Gauff told TODAY.
The outpouring of support for Gauff from former players and high-ranking officials shows no signs of slowing down. Even former President Barack Obama took to social media to offer his congratulations, saying “Congratulations to US Open champion, @CocoGauff! We are immensely proud of you both on and off the court, and we know that you have even greater things in store.” Meanwhile, tennis icon Serena Williams expressed her excitement over Gauff’s win by posting a photo of her on Instagram Story with the caption “Ahhhhh!!!! Amazing!!!!”
Coco Gauff began her tennis journey at six years old. She made her professional debut in 2018 and gained national attention after defeating Venus Williams in Wimbledon that year. After facing a slight setback during the 2023 Wimbledon season after a very surprising early exit. She told the media that she had to go back to the drawing board after her loss. “I have to go back to the drawing board and see where I need to improve and how to do the right drills to do that,” Gauff said.
It was evident that she had made the necessary modifications after her impressive performance at the U.S. Open. Despite receiving immense support, Gauff remained composed throughout her journey. Her speech conveyed her gratitude for the opportunity to play the sport she adores at the U.S. Open.
“I’m in a very privileged position, I’m getting paid to do what I love and getting support to do what I love. That’s something that I don’t take for granted… I have a lucky life and so I should enjoy it,” Gauff said. “…I know there are millions of people who probably want to be in this position that I am now, so instead of saying why this, why that, I should just be, like, ‘Why not me? Why am I not enjoying this?’ I should,” she continued. You go Coco! (Source: BlackDoctor.org by Robyn Craig)