Coco Gauff won the U.S. Open women’s final, becoming the latest Black American woman to leave a history-making mark on the most sacred grounds of U.S. tennis.
Coco Gauff is a Grand Slam singles champion at age 19, rallying from a set down to beat the world’s top-ranked player in the U.S. Open final.
Gauff overcame Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to become the youngest American to win a major since Serena Williams took the first of her 23 titles at the 1999 U.S. Open at 17.
Gauff also ended the longest Grand Slam singles title drought in U.S. history (men and women), since Sofia Kenin won the 2020 Australian Open.
When it was over and she had shed tears of joy, she then hugged her Mom and Dad who were crying too. Gauff first thanked them, and her grandparents, and her brothers, one of whom failed to answer a FaceTime call from her right after the match.
And then Gauff took the microphone during the ceremony to address anyone who might have questioned if this day would arrive.
“Thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me. Like a month ago, I won a (tour) title and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago I won a (tour) title and people were saying that was the biggest it was going to get.
So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now,” said Gauff, who is on a career-best 12-match winning streak. “Tried my best to carry this with grace, and I’ve been doing my best, so honestly, to those who thought they ware putting water in my fire: you are really adding gas to it and now it’s running so bright right now.”
She completed a rise through the top level of tennis that began with a win over Venus Williams at Wimbledon at age 15 in 2019 in her Grand Slam main draw debut.
Gauff hit other milestones — a WTA tournament winner later in 2019, a win over Naomi Osaka at the 2020 Australian Open, then a runner-up finish at the 2022 French Open. But she hit a low at this year’s Wimbledon, losing in the first round to Kenin.
She made changes, including adding Brad Gilbert as a coach, and then went 18-1 through this U.S. summer hard-court swing, bagging the two biggest tournament titles of her career.
She was seeded sixth at the U.S. Open and, with this crown, will rise to No. 3 in the world.