Coco Gauff Wins First Grand Slam Title during U.S. Open Women’s Final
Former Atlanta resident, Coco Gauff, the 19-year-old tennis prodigy, achieved her first Grand Slam title by winning the U.S. Open singles final with a score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. Coco’s victory came after a somewhat shaky start, but she displayed tremendous resilience to claim her maiden Grand Slam championship.
Hailing from Florida, Coco called Atlanta home during her early years. Her win is particularly significant as she becomes the first American teenager to win the U.S. Open since Serena Williams in 1999. Coco’s journey to stardom began at the age of 15 when she became the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history and reached the fourth round in her Grand Slam debut in 2019. Coco’s rise in the world of tennis has always appeared to be a matter of when, rather than if.
Coco has always been open about becoming a tennis player because of Venus and Serena Williams. During her press conference after her big win, Coco Gauff credited the Williams sisters’ hardships and heroics as black tennis players for her own triumph.
“Yes, it’s crazy. I mean, they’re the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest. They have allowed me to believe in this dream, you know, growing up. You know, there wasn’t too many just Black tennis players dominating the sport. It was literally, at that time when I was younger, it was just them that I can remember”, Gauff said. “Obviously, more came because of their legacy. So it made the dream more believable. But all the things that they had to go through, they made it easier for someone like me to do this”, she added.
Over the past year, Coco has made impressive strides in her career. She reached her first major final at the French Open in the previous year, finishing as the runner-up, and has now secured the biggest trophy of her young career at the U.S. Open.
In the final, Coco faced a formidable opponent in Sabalenka, known for her powerful play. Despite a challenging start and being initially pushed around the court, Coco’s tenacity, agility, and ability to return shots turned the match in her favor.
Sabalenka will ascend to the world No. 1 ranking on Monday, however, in this U.S. Open final, Coco proved to be a formidable adversary and clinched the title, marking a significant milestone in her promising tennis journey.
Coco celebrated her victory in front of a star-studded audience at Arthur Ashe Stadium, including notable figures like Kevin Durant, Spike Lee, Nicole Kidman, and Charlize Th Theron
Tennis icon Serena Williams posted a beautiful message on Instagram to celebrate Coco’s maiden major writing, “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Amazing!!!!!!!! @cocogauff” across a photo of the teenager with the trophy.