In a historic achievement, Coco Gauff, a talented African American teenager, claimed her first Grand Slam title by defeating Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the US Open women’s final. The victory not only made Coco Gauff the first American to win the US Open singles title since Sloane Stephens in 2017 but also marked her as the first American teenager to achieve this feat since Serena Williams in 1999.
Hailing from Florida, the 19-year-old Gauff showcased remarkable resilience throughout the match, rallying back in the second set and maintaining her momentum until the end. As she struck a backhand winner to secure the title, Gauff fell to the court on Arthur Ashe Stadium, basking in the adoration of the home crowd.
Despite a strong start by Sabalenka, her game faltered due to a series of unforced errors, leading to a disappointing end to her 2023 Grand Slam campaign, which included a victory at the Australian Open and semifinal appearances at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Gauff’s triumph is a fulfillment of the high expectations that have surrounded her since she burst onto the tennis scene at the age of 15, becoming the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history and reaching the fourth round in her Grand Slam debut in 2019. After finishing as the runner-up in last year’s French Open, Coco Gauff has now secured the biggest trophy of her young career.
Her victory against Sabalenka showcased Gauff’s ability to withstand the power of her opponent’s shots, as she relentlessly returned shot after shot. In the third set, Gauff took an early lead by breaking Sabalenka’s serve and continued to dominate, eventually going up 4-0. Sabalenka briefly interrupted the match with a medical timeout to receive a leg massage but failed to reverse the momentum. Coco Gauff broke back immediately after the break and went on to serve out the victory. Overjoyed, she dropped onto the court before climbing into the stands to celebrate with her parents and loved ones.