Coco Gauff, 19, has just written Tennis history by becoming the youngest U.S. Open champion since Serena Williams won it in 1999, aged 17.
Encouraged by a sold-out Ashe Stadium, including Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Diane Keaton, Gauff, American Tennis’ future, offered herself her maiden grand slam title, four years after her unforgettable debut at Wimbledon.
Both players had a lot of difficulty getting into their final.
Coco Gauff, at 19 and playing on home soil, failed to impose her game in the first set. Controlled by her emotions, she committed several unnecessary unforced errors. And yet, Aryna Sabalenka wasn’t much better, but it was enough for the Belarusian to conclude the first set 2-6.
The turning point for the young American came in the second set when she managed to break her opponent’s serve. From that point onwards, the Belarusian’s unforced errors multiplied, while Gauff’s decisiveness appeared. Thanks also to good defense when necessary, she maintained her advantage until the end (6-3).
The start of the third round confirms the observed trend: Coco Gauff wins the first four games against a ghost version of the new No. 1 Sabalenka. She then continued her race in the lead, despite a late comeback from Sabalenka after the medical break.
Faster, more determined, focused, and decisive, the American comfortably earned her first Grand Slam title, the biggest title of her young career.
Unfortunately for Aryna Sabalenka, she missed the opportunity to grab a second Grand Slam this season after having won the Australian Open in early 2023. The Belarusian will console herself with the No. 1 ranking, for the first time in his career, starting next week.
Coco Gauff’s First Words As US Open Champion
“I’m in shock. The defeat at Roland-Garros was very hard to take. This moment now is extremely sweet. I feel blessed in this life, I am very happy when these results come. I knew I had to fight to win. I congratulate Aryna and her team for this result and this number 1 place. She is a great player and a beautiful person.”
Aryna Sabalenka’s Reaction
“Winning the world number 1 spot is the highlight of my year. I congratulate Coco and her team, she deserves this title, there will surely be many others, even if I hope that our head-to-head will be different next time (laughs).”
Coco Gauff became only the third player since 1990 to win the final of the US Open after losing the first set.
US Open Prize Money
Gauff will take home a £2.37 million cheque. The 19-year-old made sure to thank Billie Jean King for her continuous work fighting for equal prize money. “Thank you, Billie for fighting for this.”