Coco Gauff beat number one seed Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus to win the U.S. Open on Sept 9. At just 19 years old, this is Gauff’s first major singles title. She is the youngest American to win the U.S. Open since Serena Williams in 1999.
The U.S. Open Women’s Singles Champion is no stranger to the limelight. Gauff first established herself as a tennis star at 15-years-old, when she beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon. Ever since earning her spot at the Wimbledon stage, Gauff has been trying to achieve her first major singles title. Four years later at the U.S. Open, she achieved just that.
Gauff made news early on in the U.S. Open, and from there all attention was on her. During her first match against opponent Laura Siegemund, Gauff voiced her frustrations at Siegemund’s slow playing pace to the referee, claiming Siegemund should receive a time violation. She felt Siegemund was taking too long between sets and was never ready to receive Gauff’s serves. Clips of Gauff speaking up during the match went viral online, and from there the world was watching Gauff.
Gauff did not falter, winning the next six rounds to advance to the final. In the final against Aryna Sabalenka, Gauff lost the first match 2-6 but won the next two 6-3 and 6-2. Gauff was overcome with emotion after winning the final, thanking her family for their support and Billy Jean King for equal pay in the prize money.
Gauff had a rocky season, with a loss in the first round of the 2023 Wimbledon tournament seeming to follow her everywhere. A loss on the biggest stage in tennis stirred hate online, with many questioning if Gauff had already peaked. This made Gauff’s win at the U.S. Open that much more exciting. In a post-victory interview, Gauff thanked her critics, stating she used the hate to help fuel her in the final match.
There is nothing the U.S. loves more than a winning sports story, and Coco Gauff provided. Gauff is only the third American teen to achieve the prestigious title of U.S. Open Women’s Singles Champion. At just 19-years-old she has accomplished what most people only dream of, so one can only wonder: what is next for Coco Gauff?